From a reader:
Yesterday, a 75-year old monsignor asked me if I’d ever seen a chasuble folded in front. I replied, No, only in the back. At TLM ordinations.
He said he’d seen chasubles folded on the front once, back at the seminary he attended in the 1950′s, but didn’t remember why they were folded that way.
Would you know?
Before the reforms of the liturgy back in the 1950′s there was a vestment called the folded chasuble, planeta plicata. It was used in penitential times. They were either cut very short in the front, or they were folded and button up or tied. They were worn by the deacon and subdeacon. I think they were still used in some rites such as ordinations for some time after.
The folded chasuble also developed into the “broad stole”, which was the folded chasuble folded a lot more and worn as a band diagonally across the chest. You can see it to the right of the circled folded chasuble, above.