Wherein Fr. Z is happy

You might recall that, at the end of October, while I was in Rome I shopped for fabric and trim and ordered up a set of Pontifical vestments from the famous ecclesiastical shop Gammarelli. Here are a couple of shots from back then.

The fabric cut out and ready to go on 28 October.

Today, just over one month, the vestments arrived.   Not bad for a full Pontifical set!   Gammarelli stock went up for me because of this project.  It used to take them forever to get anything done and shipping was… well… iffy.  I had the notice from them on Monday, I tracked them with DHL, and they are here.

And do they pack properly!  Beneath the outer paper the box was carefully wrapped in plastic.  This would prevent water damage.


Some detail of the cope.

The is the “San Filipo Neri” style of chasuble.  It’s fuller, longer, and a bit curved in respect to the modern Roman pianetta.


You can see that the ribbons are black.  Striking against the blue.  Note the way the maniple is to be tightened on the arm.


To give you a sense of the difference in the silk depending on the light and the light source.  It can appear different shades of gold and it has a raised pattern which catches light well.

I won’t hesitate to do a project like this again.  Shopping for the fabric saved a lot of money and gave us more variety.  The trick is knowing how much to buy of the fabric and paying attention to the pattern, if there is one.  The pattern in this silk was fairly narrow, which gave the tailors a lot of flexibility when trying to fit everything in.  Kudos to them.

Another thing… I had 5 deacon stoles made instead of just the one.  That way the bishop has the option of using the set for an ordination to the diaconate.

These vestments will have their inauguration on Monday 8 December for Our Lady’s feast, which is also a Holy Day of Obligation in these USA.

If you are near Madison, or even if you are not, Pontifical Mass at the Throne begins at 7 pm at the chapel of the Bishop O’Connor Center.  Madison’s Bp. Morlino will be the celebrant.

The Mass is sponsored by the Tridentine Mass Society of Madison which also purchased the vestments.  Please visit the TMSM page and send a huge tax deductible donation! The TMSM is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax deductible. Those who wish to support the special projects of the TMSM may do so by using the donation button on the website or by mailing a contribution to the Society at 529 Echo Valley Road, Brooklyn, WI 53521.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Ahhh! lovely! Pure silk and no polyester in sight. Very tasteful. Congratulations!

  2. Vexilla: It is indeed pure silk. They are magnificent.

  3. Sword40 says:

    Sewing work looks “Outstanding” from what I can see from the photos. Beautiful set. Looks spendy but worth every penny.

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It’s really pretty inexpensive, if you recall that a set like this can be used (if carefully kept) for 100-200 years.

  5. Bea says:

    Beautiful, Beautiful!


  6. Gregorius says:

    If I may ask in case anyone has plans on making/acquiring a set in the future, what do solemn/pontifical sets consist of?

  7. Robbie says:

    Very beautiful. It’s quite sad beautiful vestments like these have become so uncommon.

  8. Titus says:

    If I may ask in case anyone has plans on making/acquiring a set in the future, what do solemn/pontifical sets consist of?

    Well, let’s see. You need the chasuble, dalmatic, tunicle, stole, and maniple for the bishop; you need stole and cope of the assistant priest; you need diaconal stole and dalmatic for the deacon; you need diacanol stole and tunicle for the sub-deacon; (do the clerics other than the bishop wear maniples? if so, add three maniples); you need burse and chalice veil; you need a vimpa; you need a humeral veil; if you haven’t already got them you need coordinating pontifical gloves and buskins (unless buskins were abolished prior to the Pontificale in force for the EF). I think that should about cover it.

    As for Fr. Z’s set, it’s fabulous. But you’ll need one whopping hanger to keep the shoulders of that chasuble from deforming on a cheap plastic hanger. I doubt even a good suit hanger would be a good fit because of the way it’s cut. Does Gammarelli sell hangers?

  9. Ben Yanke says:

    A pontifical set consists of the following:

    1 Chasuble
    1 priest stole
    1 diaconal stole
    3 dalmatics
    1 tunicle
    3 dalmatics
    1 pontifical dalmatic (technically no liturgical difference between a normal dalmatic, but in practice, they are typically very lightweight)
    chalice veil
    humeral veil

    The following is also great to have and for it to match, though it is optional:
    tabernacle veil
    altar frontal

    Some correct me if I missed anything.

  10. Netmilsmom says:

    Beautiful! Simply exquisite!
    Why can’t I live in Wisconsin?

  11. JudicaMe says:

    This is beautiful. Congratulations to TMSM! That blue ribbon (I don’t know what to call it) that laces the chasuble, dalmatics, and cope has a very beautiful pattern. Can somebody share the pictures when these vestments are blessed?

  12. Animadversor says:

    Titus, perhaps one ought not to use even a truly colossal hanger; such vestments would likely weigh so much that, even if they were hung on such, the stress on the seams would be great enough to weaken them. It would be better to lay them flat in a vestment case, such as you may see here.

  13. Matt R says:

    Here’s my list… 1 chasuble; 3 dalmatic (1 for deacon of the Mass, 2 for the deacons at the throne); 1 tunicle; 1 priest and 1 deacon stole; episcopal gloves, stockings, and buskins; 2 miters (golden and precious in all but Masses for the dead) 3 maniples for the bishop, deacon of the Mass, and subdeacon; 1 or 3 humeral veils (1 for the subdeacon, possibly 2 for the mitrebearer and crozierbearer); somewhere between 3 and 6 copes (1 for the assistant priest, 2 for the bookbearer and candlebearer, 2 more for the MB and CB if they don’t wear the veil-which the books presume they don’t- and possibly one more for the bishop, if he needs one for another ritual prior to Mass); 1 pontifical dalmatic; 1 pontifical tunicle; burse and chalice veil

    That would only be a full set. You are most likely to see a full set at Masses with cardinals. The humeral veil or scarf substitutes in most places for two copes. For a Pontifical Mass at the faldstool, one would not need all 3 dalmatics, and probably not all 4 copes (probably 2 at the most, with the MB wearing the humeral veil, and no crozierbearer most of the time).

    Ben, I don’t know why you’d need a tabernacle veil. The sacrament ought to be removed from the altar of celebration. But a frontal would be awesome.

  14. Matt R says:

    Oh, of course, one would need to scrounge up extra chasubles and tunics for a chapter of canons in the bishop’s cathedral, especially on Holy Thursday. But the USA has no canons, and only one diocese in Europe celebrates Pontifical Mass in the cathedral for Holy Thursday, and it is the Chrism Mass anyways, not the Missa in coena Domini. I do not know if that diocese has canons.

  15. Tominellay says:

    Beautiful vestments! Congratulations.

  16. Mariana2 says:


  17. The Masked Chicken says:

    Silk will acquire a static charge. I wonder what a procession would look like in a really dark room? Eerie. It is, also, piezoelectric, so if you every need to charge a phone…just hook up two clips to the sides of the chasuble and press down on the material (okay, you could probably only light a really tiny light bulb, but its the coolness of the idea that’s important).

    The Chicken

  18. LUCILIUS says:

    Concerning the needed vestments for a pontifical Mass: Everyone appears to have overlooked the “gremiale”: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07026a.htm

  19. Titus says:

    Hmm, I had forgotten about those extra deacons. It all comes, I suppose, of not having front doors big enough . . . I mean, of never having actually had an opportunity to attend a pontifical high Mass. (Bishop D’Arcy—God rest his soul—wanted to do one while I was in South Bend, I think, after he had such a blast saying a pontifical low Mass, but just didn’t have the people to put it on.)

    Animadversor is surely correct about the proper method of storing that chasuble.

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