BLUE Pontifical Vestment and Violet Folded Chasuble Projects – UPDATE

UPDATE: 28 May:

Many of the people I have been talking to like the bronze, but the silver – so to speak – came in second.

I took the fabric and swatches into the chapel and turned on the lights.  Then I positioned them about a bit.

The bronze looks great up close, but it is harder to discern from a distance.  What really popped out was the silver.

Originally Published on: May 25, 2017

The ecclesiastical tailor in Rome, Gammarelli, informed me that the White vestments for Pontifical Mass at the Throne (PMATT) has been shipped.  We have a PMATT coming on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary (31 May) in the evening here in Madison.  The Extraordinary Ordinary will pontificate.

I am eager to see the vestments.  They have the diocesan coat of arms embroidered on the back.  The chasuble has the bishop’s arms.  When seen all together I believe they will make a favorable impression.  Eventually, additional dalmatics and chasubles will be added to the set.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison (a 501(c)(3) organization) to make the vestments possible.

Our new campaign to help with the Blue and also to order “folded chasubles” for the Violet set.


It is time to think about blue.

I am wondering about trim.

I’ve pretty much decided that the trim will be one of these three… silver, gold or bronze.

Barring some new discovery, the trim will be one of these.  Gammarelli has the silver and the gold.  The bronze I acquired elsewhere.  I would have to get it separately and send – better, take it! – it to Rome.

Here is a poll.   Please note: I will take the results into consideration, but I will not merely take the results of the poll as my final choice.

The combox is open for those who are registered and approved.

For the trim on the TMSM Blue Pontifical Set...

View Results

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    You have to go with the bronze! It is perfect — more subtle than the gold (which is a bit “blingy”), but more special than the silver. And it’s orange undertone is a perfect complement to the blue.

  2. majuscule says:

    My pick at first glance (and second, third and fourth) is bronze.

    The gold calls too much attention to itself. The silver appears to be the wrong shade of silver (but that may not be true in person).

    For what it’s worth! :)

  3. IMHO…the gold is too ‘bright’ against the blue and the pattern…the bronze is more subtle, and, though a lesser ‘value’ metal…compliments it very well without overpowering the richness of the fabric. Just my layman’s opinion…either would be spectacular, but the bronze is more…uh…classic without going over the top.

    Just a lay opinion, though.

  4. padredana says:

    Don’t you usually condemn the use of blue vestments? [For Advent, for sure.] What documentation do you have that would allow the use of blue vestments in Wisconsin? I’d like to know, because if it’s allowed, I’m getting a blue vestment!

    [This is the pastorally sensitive mercy solution approved in the internal forum according to Amoris laetitia. We intend to accompany the vestments on whatever path they confirm according to their own conscience. Who am I to judge?]

  5. VexillaRegis says:

    They all look fine. I think you should chose what looks best in your church!

  6. Dominicanes says:

    Are you moving to Spain as to be able to wear the blue vestment set?

    [No move to Spain is planned … for now.]

  7. padredana says:

    Bwahahahaha! Well we do live in a time of great mercy.

    [And, by the way, I’m now an Internal Forum Monsignor.]

  8. Matt R says:

    Amen to the folded chasubles. The fabric for the blue is beautiful! Where did you find it?

  9. fishonthehill says:

    Wow this is like a Harry Potter controversy. In the book, Ravenclaw’s colors are blue and bronze… the movie… blue and silver.

  10. Cantor says:

    Let’s see… you have the celebrant, the deacon, and the sub-deacon. You have three colors of braid. Is there a problem here?

  11. The Mad Sicilian Geek says:

    Which one best accentuates the color of your skin? (j/k)

    Really, any of the three choices would be good…

  12. KateD says:

    If these photos are true, then it’s got to be the bronze.

    I’m so sorry you’ll have to make an extra trip to Rome….


  13. G. Thomas Fitzpatrick says:

    Father, my personal opinion is that the gold is most striking with that blue.

  14. Ed the Roman says:

    Is there word that blue is about to be approved?

    [We have given it internal forum approval. Try to keep up?]

  15. Animadversor says:

    [And, by the way, I’m now an Internal Forum Monsignor.]
    Funny, in my mind you’ve always been a mediæval archdeacon.

    [The title I am really aiming for is Panhypersebastos.]

  16. Filipino Catholic says:

    I’m leaning towards gold, despite that being a relatively unpopular option here. Historically this has always been the usual arrangement of things, evoking the native form of lapis lazuli (gold-flecked/veined blue). Very traditional in my perspective, as it would recall the old arms of France and express hope for the return of the French to the Church through Mary (as blue is of course associated with her, and for whom the fleur-de-lys is a sign most fitting).

    Objections will be raised that the golden floral design already satisfies the rule of “or on azure” and reminds one of Mary (“I am the lily of the valley, the flower of the field”). I concede this, yes, but I also consider that if the gold-ornamented blue resembles lapis lazuli, then the gold trim is the setting of precious metal for these gems, all of this translated into fabric — fitting indeed for the Most Holy Sacrifice.

  17. Nan says:

    How very merciful of you, Monsignor Z to accompany the vestments on their path, without judging them. They could even declare Dane County to be part of Spain, who are we to judge?

  18. gracie says:

    The Gold is too intense for that shade of blue. Bronze goes with the darker color in the leaf. Silver goes better with the lighter color in the leaf. The question is: which goes better with the leaf AND the blue? My suggestion: get longer strips of the bronze and the silver and pin them, in turn, to the fabric where they normally would be located. Make the cloth about the size of the vestment, if you can. Otherwise, do the best you can but be sure to stand back at a distance to view the results. Gammarelli should be able to do this for you. You need to see the overall effect. The idea is that the trim is supposed to produce the illusion of sacred light. In that respect, it has to enhance the pattern while not competing with it. Continue looking for trim if you’re not certain about these choices. Btw – the fabric is beautiful.

  19. Mariana2 says:

    Gold, Father. The silver trim is lighter, and a cooler shade than the silver in the fabric and will not complement it. A darker silver would be ideal. Bronze will look cheap, especially against gold chalices and things.

  20. APX says:

    Normally I would pair silver with blue (not gold), as they are both cold shades in the colour palette; however, the bronze brings out the colour in the floral pattern, whereas the silver looks a bit flat with it. I say go with bronze.

  21. APX says:

    *cool shades, not cold. Stupid Autocorrect

  22. FranzJosf says:

    1. I voted gold because I think that from a distance the bronze will look brown, with the wrong sort of contrast to that particular blue, and I think there is enough “brightness” in the fabric already, without adding that silver; I’m afraid that the the whole effect will look “tinny”. (Of course, I could be wrong, since I’m relying on photos.) The gold, although predictable, will look reliably elegant, I think.

    2. Vestment color.

    a. Although I can’t find a photo now, I once saw a “travel” chasuble (from the 50’s, I think) that had the four main liturgical colors to equal degree. So, if it was a martyr’s day, say, the vestment was red with violet, green, and gold trim; however, if it was Lent, the vestment was violet, with red, green, and gold trim. If memory serves, the colors were in stripes against and unbleached background. Great idea.

    b. The same idea could apply here. The vestment is a festal silver, bronze, or gold, but has some blue in it as well. : )

  23. gracie says:

    One more thought – try looking for a softer gold and a softer silver – in other words, not quite so glittery. The trim shouldn’t overwhelm the blue. Bronze may look too muddy in lower lit situations. [Over time the silver and the gold will soften a little.]

  24. NomenDeiAdmirabileEst says:

    Beautiful fabric! I voted for bronze, but the more I look at and try to imagine each color, the harder it becomes for me to hope for any one in particular. The silver would be positively subtle, but blue and gold were my high school’s colors, and I’ve always liked them together. Hmm but now I’m liking the bronze more and more again. Too bad you can’t make one set of each border!

  25. G1j says:

    I would not find it objectionable to see blue vestments in use on Marian feast days, along with some appropriate Marian hymns. I vote for silver braid. The gold just seems a little too much?!?

  26. Papabile says:

    Reiterating a question from a previous post.

    If you are going with folded chasubles, will the broad stole also be an accoutrement?

  27. alphonsomarialiguori says:

    We glorify God first of all with our hearts: and this means obedience to the Church including respect for what coloured vestments it allows. The Church has every right to limit the use of blue vestments in order to give it a certain significance, and it is absolutely not right to ignore these rules, no matter what the liberals do. Breaking rules undermines the authority of the church and our obligation to respect any just decree.
    That being said, there’s nothing wrong with getting a blue set, only wearing them when they’re not allowed. Hope you have a trip to Spain planned :)

  28. New Sister says:

    I want to change my vote: I had voted bronze, but now vote GOLD, after consulting with an interior designer who is really good at these things (& makes absolutely exquisite rosaries for SMOM to boot). This Dame ;-) noted that the gold is the only choice that picks up the golden accents on the lilies. With the bronze, they’re lost. And gold has more theological meaning ~ Peter’s Keys, Our Lady (House of Gold), the Arc, etc.

  29. Jack007 says:

    I’m not sure who the “designer” that was consulted in the post above, but I can only reiterate what I have previously posted… that the TRADITIONAL color when it comes to appointments is red and gold — blue and silver.
    That said, I have always tended to pick gold with vestments…perhaps with the thought that gold has gotta be better. But in my personal collection of antique vestments I have a few with silver banding, fringe etc…and they ALWAYS seem to impress the most when viewed from the pew. There’s something about silver, especially on black, that gets an “Ooooooo” effect. It seems to catch the light in a different way than the gold does.
    Perhaps as a final thought…gold seems to be by far the most dominant choice to festoon vestments, so perhaps that’s why silver seems special…maybe because its just not seen everyday? (actually pre 19th century, silver was MUCH more common)
    I am NOT surprised that the bronze didn’t impress. That wouldn’t even be on the radar for me unless it was strictly a display piece meant to be viewed up close. It will definitely lose definition against the busy design of this material.
    Wanna really impress? Use silver bullion fringe on the stoles and maniples. Yes, it requires some care as the metal can damage the vestment material over time if they aren’t stored properly, but nothing beats bullion fringe for making an impression. [I like the idea of silver bullion. Please make a generous, tax deductible donation to the Tridentine Mass Society of Madison! If you want to make the donation without any fees taken out, send a check by snail mail. Address HERE.]
    As far as the question of wearing blue? All I can say is what my fellow Argentines like to say,
    ¡Hagan lío!

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