Burning ugly vestments!

It was a tough week.  There were good moments, however.

Here’s something great.

Burning ugly vestments!

You will see in one of the photos the famous Pius Clock!

Seriously, when a vestment is no longer serviceable, sometimes the best option is to burn it.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I’m relatively new to the subject of vestments, so my question is what’s wrong with the one in the photo?

  2. oldconvert says:

    I came across an interesting article in our local museum the other day (sorry, I don’t know how to upload photos). It was the remains of an altar frontal from an anvient local church (now Anglican but pre-Reformation obviously Catholic), composed of several panels which the experts had identified as bits of vestments. Apparently in poor parishes, once vestments were worn out, they salvaged the rescuable bits, and used them again on the altar.

    Many modern mass-produced vestments are very ugly, in knitted non-iron acrylics with machine embroidery, but if there are any aesthetically pleasing sections which can be preserved, for frontals etc, it would seem to me a preferable alternative to just burning them!

  3. FrAnt says:

    In my former parish a man with mental illness lit the vestments on fire in the sacristy, we got him help and got new vestments. We both benefitted.

  4. un-ionized says:

    John Ed, I am relatively new as well but my guess would be: somewhat garish color; plain fabric; unsightly stitching along edge; what might be the orphrey is a stitched-on band of fabric with flowers on it, not a traditional orphrey at all; plain stole, if that is the stole I see there.

  5. majuscule says:

    A priest who is no longer in my parish didn’t like the 1950s Roman style green chausable we have in the sacristy and so used his own. It appeared to be of a synthetic burlap material, unadorned with embroidery. And it was a horrible pea soup green that clashed with our altar cloth and tabernacle veil which are more of a kelly green. Maybe clash isn’t the word since the pea soup green was so muddy looking.

    Our current priest also uses his own vestments (complete with maniple, even for the OF Mass!). They are quite beautiful, made of tastefully attractive material embellished with gold trim.

    For what it’s worth, our current priest also does not tell jokes during his homily.

  6. a catechist says:

    “Hey, liberals! Ugly vestments contribute to Climate Change!! That doesn’t jive with Laudato Si! You’d better shame/ban them immediately!”

    Really, I think this campaign is worth a try.

  7. Marysann says:

    Be careful when attempting to burn those ugly polyester things. They will melt rather than burn, so you could have a real mess on your hands.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    There’s a lot of old vesture here of the trad variety and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, but that being the case, I would never destroy something the people (even if in the past) paid good money for. I really think it’s wrong to destroy quality stuff just because it’s not what a person likes. There are thousands of dollars worth of Slabbink altar/ambo frontals in a mid-’80’s geometric design. They are as ugly as can be (and the green is more “olive” than “forest”) but somebody shelled out for them. I can’t see throwing them out. Also, progressives aren’t the only ones with ugly vestments.

  9. John_Ed says:

    Un-ionized – Thanks. I tend to view items with the opinion ‘if it works then it works’, and where I come from the vestments can be quite plain, but seeing as we’re talking of holy things then I bow to beauty!

  10. andia says:

    Fr Jim, I love the care you show for both people and things! But you don’t have to throw them out — they can be re-purposed and made “new” as I am developing my vestment sewing skills, one of the things I am being told is that we can reuse stuff that is worn out or not likely to be used again. Even if it’s as practice vestment to teach an new generation repair skills.

  11. un-ionized says:

    Andia, that is a great idea. If a parish has a sewing guild or club for example, they could maybe use old vestments for repair practice or for teaching younger sewing people (I don’t want to call them “sewers”) repair skills or even practice embroidery (either machine or hand) on the different fabrics.

  12. Sword40 says:

    After touring a local church’s “history room” and seeing lots of gothic vestments from the 50’s and 60’s, could see the ground work laid out for Vat II. There were some really horrible designs. Reminds me of the “felt banners” from the recent past.

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