Traditionally our Roman altars should have three linen altar cloths. One of them should properly be infused with wax, to make it relatively waterproof. This is sometimes called a “cere cloth”. It is also known as a “chrismale” because it is placed on the altar during its consecration rite after the mensa has been anointed with chrism.
A reader wants to find one.
I was hoping you could inquire after your readers as to where one might procure a proper waxed linen cere cloth? My children’s school has an altar that is sorely in need of proper altar cloths. I would like to procure them for the school, but am unable to find a supplier of them. I was hoping you or your readers might be aware of one.
Maybe you can help.
If I recall correctly, someone involved with the Institute of Christ the King knows someone who makes these cloths. This thought stems from when I attended the consecration of Old St. Patrick’s in downtown Kansas City: when they clothed the altar for the first time, they used a “cere cloth” which looked like the real thing. I have a recollection of asking about it and hearing that someone made it.
I suppose that, in a pinch, one might cut to shape a table pad if it were thin enough. There are also a certain kind of sheet used in hospitals that is moisture proof.
The cere cloth has wax on only one side. The production of such a cloth involves dipping the linen in melted wax and then ironing it between two other sheets. I think that removes the top layer of wax.
So… have at!