Preparing for Holy Thursday Mass

The chasuble I get to use tonight at Holy Innocents in Manhattan.


A detail. I am told the Sister who made this didn’t have the chance to finish it.



A few photos of the Mass.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. q7swallows says:

    Breathtakingly glorious.
    In soooooo many ways! . . .

  2. Random Friar says:

    It’s a shame so few are able to do good embroidery these days.

  3. inara says:

    wow…so beautiful…and touching to my heart, since both my grandpa, father in law, husband & son are named John, so we have a special affection for “the disciple whom Jesus loved” :o)

  4. APX says:

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! That’s embroidered???!! I thought it was a overlay sewn on. That’s beyond impressive!

  5. fieldsparrow says:

    That is beautiful. I love embroidery and I hope someday to have enough skill to embroider church linens, but that’s a long way off.

  6. Mike Morrow says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “I am told the Sister who made this didn’t have the chance to finish it.”

    That sounds as if there’s a story that wants telling. Impressive work.

  7. Yes, I’d be interested in that story too, and also the pedigree on these vestments.

    Down with liturgical minimalism!

  8. NonSumDignus says:


  9. Singing Mum says:

    Someone must have a heart for God to fashion that. Edifying. It’s a good nudge to keep practicing with joy as I have all the Triduum schola chants bopping about in my brain. I think I’ll send up a prayer for and to the inspirational nun who made this.

  10. tmitchell says:

    Tonight the priest at my parish wore what appeared to be a tablecloth with sharpie marks on it. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous chasuble with those of us who are not so lucky to encounter beautiful vestments with anything approaching regularity.

    On that note, would it be a sin to steal and destroy the tacky polyester vestments from the sacristy if one was to replace it with nicer vestments of higher quality? Just a thought. ;)

  11. Jack007 says:

    “On that note, would it be a sin to steal and destroy the tacky polyester vestments from the sacristy if one was to replace it with nicer vestments of higher quality? Just a thought. ;)”


    Now get to work! :-)

    Jack in KC

  12. Some years ago I met an Episcopal Sister of the Holy Nativity in Fond du lac, Wi who did this kind of work. She also was excellent at repairing old and somewhat tattered vestments. MAY SHE REST IN PEACE.

  13. jfm says:

    Beautiful chasuble, Father.
    Great service last night, as well.
    Brief, but potent homily.
    My first Latin Holy Thursday and first time at Holy Innocents.
    Awesome procession –loved the 2 acolytes swinging incense.
    I had never seen that before.
    How often are 2 acolytes called to incense?

  14. JohnMa says:


    Anytime there is a Eucharistic procession two acolytes are used to incense.

  15. irishgirl says:

    Oooo-that vestment is glorious!
    The nuns were always such good needlewomen!

  16. Ef-lover says:

    Beautiful vestment, I can’t believe that it is not finished.

  17. Ellen says:

    That is a beautiful piece of embroidery, but I have always wondered why St. John is portrayed in art as a – well, girly man. After all he was a fisherman and he and his brother were called by Jesus the Sons of Thunder. I can’t help but think he was a bit more rough looking.

  18. irishgirl says:

    Nice pictures of the inside of the church, Father Z!
    I think I caught a glimpse of you washing feet! Am I right?
    Glorious-simply glorious!
    Yes, Ellen-I’m inclined to agree with you with regards to how St. John is portrayed in art. He does look a — girly man! However, I’ve seen a nice ‘modern’ picture of St. John on a ‘tapestry’ that was only displayed on his feast day in December. It was in the church in my hometown where I was baptized. It was kind of like a colored pen-and-ink depiction of a young St. John (teenager, about 16 or 17, no beard) pulling a net aboard a boat and smiling. Pretty good for ‘modern art’.

  19. Brad says:

    The mural behind the altar is stunning. Does anyone have any links for a good look at it?

    Warning: don’t use google images for holy innocents in manhattan unless you are prepared to see a third trimester aborted baby. Very hard to take, anytime, but especially on this morning. Lord, have mercy on us.

  20. Jack007 says:

    As far as St. John being portrayed as a “girlie” man, there’s a reason for that. The Church’s tradition is that John was young, VERY young when our Lord called him. Thus he is always portrayed “young”. I don’t see anything “girlie” at all. Now if long hair bothers you, then…most women I know have remarked to me that he looks “hot”. I’d think “pretty boy” would be more like it, maybe? :-)
    Also in the artistic mix, is the idea that he was somewhat childlike and innocent. I have always been touched by the portrayed scene where he lays his head on our Lord’s shoulder and asks in a sad voice, “Is it me, Lord?” Referring of course to our Lord’s announcement that one of them would betray him.

    BTW, St. John is my patron saint and I’ve had a lifelong devotion to him.

    Jack in KC

  21. justamouse says:

    What beautiful needlework! In England there’s the Royal School of Needlework which would be a great place to learn such an art.

    And that church is breathtaking.

  22. jmcj says:

    What an absolutely gorgeous chasuble! What a treasure!

  23. Ellen says:

    Oh it’s not the long hair, it’s the general feminine looking way that St. John is portrayed that makes me puzzled. When dim bulbs like Dan Brown look at DaVinci’s Last Supper and think that St. John is really Mary Magdalen…..

    Well, I’ll just say that chasuble is a masterpiece of the embroider’s art.

  24. irishgirl says:

    Well said, Jack007 and Ellen ( @6:07)!
    And yes, that chasuble IS gorgeous–looks like something that came from an English school of needlework.

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