From a priest:
I enjoyed reading your post a month or so ago about how the use of maniples is really a sine qua non for the New Evangelization. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] As a relatively-new, hip, young priest, I have a few matching solemn high vestment sets, complete with maniples, and at my parish, we have 3 permanent deacons who are all quite active. [For the love of all that is holy… teach them the Extraordinary Form!] Therefore, at most Masses, even daily ones, we have at least one deacon, and sometimes two. My question is this: although the maniple is allowed but not required in the OF, if I’m going to wear one, should I have the deacon(s) wear one too? [YES!] After all, it is proper to all the ordained, not just the priest, and it seems that I could potentially cause some confusion if only I wore one and not the deacon(s). [I don’t know how much confusion it would cause, but surely the angels would weep.] Of course, another factor to consider is that the other priests in my parish, including the pastor, [the plot thickens] would definitely not wear a maniple, and so that could also cause confusion when the people see me wear one and not the other priests, and the deacons wearing one only when I’m the celebrant. [Show ‘em how it’s done, sonny.]
Another question, slightly related, has to do with dalmatics. We have two dalmatics of each color (including rose and black!), but the general practice is that they’re only worn on Sundays and feasts, and so at weekdays the deacon(s) just wears an alb and stole. Should they wear the dalmatic everyday? And would it be inappropriate for them to wear an alb, maniple, and stole, without a dalmatic? [Yahhhh… I can’t see them wearing the maniple without the dalmatic. But it seems to me that the proper vestment of the deacon is the dalmatic, all the time. If you have the dalmatic, use the dalmatic. ]
I am reminded of a parody song the official WDTPRS parodohymnodist made up years before … I think before the internet.
Dalmatics on deacons and cassocks on priests,
habits on nuns and immovable feasts,
bishops in soutanes with big, gaudy rings –
these are a few of my favorite things.