The Feeder Feed: Old Chasuble Edition

I’m enjoying some time at The Cloisters with a friend.

In honor of a priest who has disparaged my posts about birds, I add this edition.

Behold a priests chasuble from Venice of the late 15th to early 16th century.




A detail from the shoulder gives a sense of how sumptuous it must have originally been.


The very best prepared the most holy of all earthly actions. We need a return to this attitude.

Meanwhile, a fine chalice from 13th c Germany.


Also, the gardens are being prepared. The esplanierd pear is blooming!



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Are those pink birds swans, herons, cranes or flamingos? It must have looked stunning when it was new and the green birds and the grate pattern flaunted with silver. Certainly no polyester there. ;-)

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    This blog ranks one, or two, most popular Catholic blog. Apparently some thousands of us are checking in with regularity to see what’s the latest, birds and all.

  3. lh says:

    I can’t tell from the photo, are some of those threads tarnished gold threads? I am always interested in old vestment designs since I do embroidery work on vestments and frontals.
    God bless you for your posts.

  4. Macgawd says:

    Our new (and very orthodox) young Priest recently dug out all the old, ornate and beautiful Chasubles from our sacristy that had been hidden away for decades. Along with these, he has also found the older ornate Chalices, candlesticks, ciborium, and thurible. All had been stored away unused for 25 years under the false pretense that Vatican II had “done away” with such fine things.

  5. Vecchio di Londra says:

    The Cloisters is an enchanted place. I hope to get there again soon.

  6. Lin says:

    I look at that beautiful chalice and wonder why a priest would EVER use very plain crystal for the Eucharist ever, let alone Easter Sunday! Our parish has at least two beautiful chalices which rarely get used. When I attend Mass at my home parish I am embarrassed that our priest uses glass and pottery (very ugly). We did not go there this Easter and I was told he opened the Mass with three jokes! Followed by his usual “We are gathered in the name of our God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Never a rubric that he does not modify or eliminate.

  7. acardnal says:

    Flamingos on the front yard, tacky.

    Flamingos on a chasuble, priceless.

  8. OrthodoxChick says:


  9. OrthodoxChick says:


    Plastic lawn flamingos are a popular fundraiser in my neck of the woods. Don’t know if it’s a regional trend, or if it’s more widespread by now. It’s called “Flamingo Flocking”. I’d love to know if flamingos had any particular symbolic meaning to our early Catholic ancestors. If so, that would make the flocking fundraiser an even better one for the parish, or a new NAPCIS school start-up, all sorts of great Catholic charities and causes.

  10. adeacon says:

    The Cloisters is an amazing place to visit. The building itself was re-constructed from an old cloister/monastery from Europe. My first visit was with the Missionaries of Charity in Newark, NJ, with a bus load of local children. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Thomas Merton mentions the Cloisters in his “Seven a Story Mountain.”

    Go and visit, you won’t be disappointed.

  11. majuscule says:

    I hope no one complains that these things should have been sold in order to feed the poor. It lifts my heart just to see photos of them!

    Our younger priest took a liking to an older tarnished more ornate chalice that had been gathering dust in the sacristy. The regular one is very plain. And don’t get me started on our very modern, very plain monstrance. They were both donated by parishioners so I won’t say more.

    On Easter Sunday our Nigerian priest arrived wearing an elaborately (machine) embroidered priest shirt that I wish I had gotten a picture of. He was going on to celebrate Easter Mass after ours with his Nigerian flock. He also declined the plain white chasuble and got the fancier one with gold embroidery out of the closet. (Of course “fancy” in our rural church is relative…no embroidered birds, and machine done at that!)

  12. shin says:

    Boy Father Z., you sure murdered ‘espaliered’. Lol.

  13. shin says:

    That’s one nice looking pear!

  14. Liam says:

    Behold the Pink Flamingo Chasuble! Preferred vestment of all priests ministering in the parishes of Parma, Ohio!

  15. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Umberto Benigni’s 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia article on Sardinia includes, among “the birds most worthy of notice” there, “flamingos which come over during August in large flocks from Africa.” I have read various suggestions that the bird to which the name “Phoenix” applies and the “Pelican in its piety” is the flamingo…

  16. guans says:

    Speaking of birds!
    Check out mama and her 3 babies:

  17. JARay says:

    If one goes to Rome and visits the Gesu and the rooms of St. Ignatius Loyola one will see the chasuble in which he was originally buried. It is a very plain whitish one however! His body was disinterred at the time of his Canonisation.

  18. Sword40 says:

    Hey, Shin, I was going to say the same thing. I was just slow in reacting to it.

  19. MouseTemplar says:

    Wait a minute.
    Perhaps they are Pelicans!
    Christological symbol par excellance!

  20. yatzer says:

    Stunning! But I had no idea there were flamingos in Europe.

  21. ejcmartin says:

    As I was at Mass this morning I kept wondering if some day a couple of hundred years from now, will the almond hued banner circa 1973 hanging behind the altar be lovingly viewed at some future ” Spirit of VII ” museum?

  22. Chon says:

    Scarlet Ibis is what they look like to me.

  23. shin says:

    Usually I am the slow one!

Comments are closed.