ALERT! Maniples in the news!

I don’t know how many times I have had discussions with liberal priests about the use of the maniple.  For some reasons liberals hate maniples, which in itself is a good enough reason to wear them as often as possible. Liberals will always insist that it is forbidden to use a maniple.  They are always wrong. 

It is no longer obligatory to use a maniple, but they can be used.

Therefore, I say "Men! Tie one on!"

And here is how to keep it on your arm: QUAERITUR: keeping maniples on your arm

Maniples have spiritual use acquired through the centuries.  Beginning more humbly and with a practical use, they came to represent the sadness sometimes endured in ministry.

"But Father! But Father!", you may be exclaiming.  "What started this?  Has some devil attacked maniples again?"

Au contraire, dear readers. 

In a ZENIT article on liturgical vestments, and the accompanying vesting prayers, Fr. Mauro Gagliardi, who is a consultor for the Office of Pontifical Ceremonies, mentions that the maniple was not abrogated.

Read the whole piece, too long for the blog, but here is the section on maniples with a bit of an introduction:


In the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (the so-called Mass of Pius V), the putting on of the liturgical vestments is accompanied by prayers for each garment, prayers whose text one still finds in many sacristies. Even if these prayers are no longer obligatory (but neither are they prohibited) by the Missal of the ordinary form promulgated by Paul VI, their use is recommended since they help in the priest’s preparation and recollection before the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice. As a confirmation of the utility of these prayers it must be noted that they are included in the "Compendium Eucharisticum," recently published by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. [Good point.] Moreover it is useful to recall that Pius XII, with the decree of Jan. 14, 1940, assigned an indulgence of 100 days for the individual prayers.  [That serves to show that it is good to pray these prayers.  However, indulgences are no longer granted for "days"; only plenary and partial.]


5) The maniple is an article of liturgical dress used in the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Holy Mass of the Roman Rite. It fell into disuse in the years of the post-conciliar reform, even though it was never abrogated. [Never abrogated.  Falling into disuse is another matter.] The maniple is similar to the stole but is not as long: It is fixed in the middle with a clasp or strings similar to those of the chasuble. During the celebration of the Holy Mass in the extraordinary form, the celebrant, the deacon and the subdeacon wear the maniple on their left forearm. This article of liturgical garb perhaps derives from a handkerchief, or "mappula," that the Romans wore knotted on their left arm. As the "mappula" was used to wipe away tears or sweat, medieval ecclesiastical writers regarded the maniple as a symbol of the toils of the priesthood.

This understanding found its way into the prayer recited when the maniple is put on: "Merear, Domine, portare manipulum fletus et doloris; ut cum exsultatione recipiam mercedem laboris" (May I deserve, O Lord, to bear the maniple of weeping and sorrow in order that I may joyfully reap the reward of my labors).

As we see, in the first part the prayer references the weeping and sorrow that accompany the priestly ministry, but in the second part the fruit of the work is noted. It would not be out of place to recall the passage of a Psalm that may have inspired the latter symbolism of the maniple.

The Vulgate renders Psalm 125:5-6 thus: "Qui seminant in lacrimis in exultatione metent; euntes ibant et flebant portantes semina sua, venientes autem venient in exultatione portantes manipulos suos" (They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Going they went and wept, casting their seeds, but coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their maniples).

Okay, men! 

Tie one on!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. asperges says:

    If I could get my priest-cousin to wear even a chasuble, for Mass it would be a start. He sees no need… maniples certainly to follow. All our EF priests who still have them wear them.

  2. Athelstan says:

    Or should we say: “Time to maniple up!”

  3. q7swallows says:

    And folks, if your priest isn’t wearing a maniple, it may be because he doesn’t have one.  I’ve had to make 5-6 already to finish older inherited EF vestment sets that had been “cleansed” of the maniple.  

    Those of you with sewing skills, check with your priest to see if he needs any made and for his preferences in fabrics/trims.  It is a work of mercy. And in some cases, a really useful employment of those embroidery skills!

  4. In our monastic community we wear them for the Ordinary Form. A good expression of the “hermeneutic of continuity”, I believe.

  5. q7swallows says:

    nazareth priest:  ditto for our priest when he celebrates the OF. And he prefers the (complete) EF vestments for most–if not all–Masses now.

  6. The Cobbler says:

    In the liberal world everything is a matter of social vocalization, so whatever they can say enough times doesn’t matter anymore is more or less forbidden in their eyes — whether actually out of practice or not. This is also the principle by which they can claim young people want clown masses and hate Latin: if we spread the idea around then it becomes true. Democracy extended to philosophy/theology. Completely bogus, but it’s what happens when a democratic, social-activist mindset takes over your whole life. That along with loss of the ability to conceive of a life that isn’t taken over by one approach — hence their assumption that those who see an objective and ordered truth outside popular opinion must be the rigid, no flexibility whatsoever types, when in fact we might just enjoy having those lines drawn because we feel safer flexing when we know just where not to go to avoid spraining anything… Oh dear, I think I just mixed a metaphor. Ah, well, the point I think makes it through anyway.

  7. Deimater says:

    I am entirely in favour of using the maniple. However, the reform of the Mass in 1967, Tres abhinc annos, rendered the use of the maniple optional. In the reform of 1969, it was no longer even mentioned. I cannot believe it is still considered an option, because options (the pall and the chalice veil, for example), are specifically offered as such in the Novus Ordo. But there is utter silence on the maniple. Again, I would that it were not thus.

  8. Deimater: I cannot believe it is still considered an option


  9. California Girl 21 says:

    Wow! I saw this post on Saturday, and on Sunday, I saw our pastor wearing a maniple! This was at the morning OF Mass. (We have a TLM on Sunday evenings.)

    More cross-pollinization, at St. Margaret’s, in Oceanside, CA!

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