Christmas, Priests, Arms, and You

Right on cue, some folks have written messages asking for advice about Christmas gifts for priests.

I could give the same advice I gave in years past. However, here’s a new thought based on a project I have wanted to get going for a while. Consider this. If your priests happen to have ecclesiastical coats of arms already prepared, you might have them either embroidered on vestments, or embroidered on appliqué patches which could be sewn on vestments.

To this end, if the priests do not have coats of arms already prepared, they might contact someone who can help them, someone knowledgeable in the field. Some priests will have family crests. I for example was able to find mine.

I found the services of David Burkart very helpful. He did a good rendering of my coat of arms, sent me a digital file, and also our large printed version for framing. The digital version can be used to create embroidered appliqués.

Right now, I am raising money to have a very beautiful set of investments made for pontifical masses. My hope is that I can make coat of arms appliqués of all the priests who are usually involved in these masses and then temporarily affix them to the appropriate vestments for mass. I am not yet sure how to do that. Perhaps with clear Velcro or pins. I’m thinking about that.

You readers are remarkably well informed and helpful. You are a great resource. Hence, I open the floor to your ideas.

Here is a patch, embroidered onto mesh, which I then applied to the chasuble for my 1st Mass, lo those many years ago.  It doesn’t have the motto ribbon, but it works well.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Chuck4247 says:

    Why and when did the concept of a coat of arms die out?

  2. Here we are talking about it! It could be that it wasn’t widely attended to in these USA. Bishops, of course, always received arms,

    Egalitarianism? False humility? Shame concerning identity or heritage? Lack of familiarity with the custom?

  3. dixiehacker says:

    I thought you were going to suggest Brownells gift cards for priests.

    [That’s a good idea, of course. I like it. Feel free to send!]

  4. WmHesch says:

    Nice, but what are you going to do when you get six amaranth tassels on your arms?

    [Why is that a problem? I have a new version of my arms made, of course.]

  5. Velcro or some other non-pin method. A pin is a catastrophe looking for a place to happen — and the place where it happens is sure not to be to your liking.

  6. Susanna says:

    Father, may i suggest the following tape which you can find on Amazon. I have had very good results with it in a variety of projects.

    Scotch Create Removable Double-Sided Fabric Tape, 3/4 in x 5 yd (FTR-1-CFT).

    The tape is also reusable, but i have no idea how many times it could be reused.


  7. Fr. Reader says:

    Z is for Zelus.

  8. Fr_Andrew says:

    Velcro is tacky (pun heavily intended).

    I think a quick couple of basting stitches with some thin thread (like is often done on the pall to permit its laundering) would be the least destructive and also would leave a plain option for when you are lacking a patch for said minister.

    That said, if a minister lacks arms that would seem to be an impedement.

  9. carn says:

    I’m posting here about something in the blog post prior to this one, as i think it is important, the prior post has no comments and here it is likely to be noticed:
    “I posted about how they now administer a network of doctors across the continent who can prescribe the medication that REVERSES the “morning after pill” abortifacient without any negative effects to mother or child. This is a Big Deal. HERE”

    Please do not call it “morning after pill”; at least for the reason that this makes it very easy for “pro-choicers” to call you and anybody else calling RU-486 or similar abortificants “morning after pill” a fool.

    “morning after pill” usually refers only to medication, which is taken hours or some days after sex and functions by either delaying ovulation and/or (this is disputed) by preventing implantation of the fertilized egg (making it an abortificant in respect to Church teaching). Heartbeat International DOES NOT offer “reversal” for this type of medification (at least according to what is said in their linked press release

    RU-486 and similar abortificants are taken 3 to 10 weeks “after sex” or in other words long after implantation happened; there is no dispute that these only act as abortificants.

    This is usually a combined medication with the first pill aimed at weakening the attachment of the baby/plazenta etc. to the uterus; AND this also reduces nutrition, etc. for the baby (which some call “starving”).

    The second pill then tries to induce a miscarriage.

    As the first pill already causes “starvation” the first pill if often (90%+) sufficient for abortion with the second pill driving “sucess” up to 98%+.

    The reversal treatment offered by Heartbeat International works by countering the “starvation”, so it can help when administered shortly – meaning 24-48 hours at most – after the first pill.

    It has no effect as far as i know on the “morning after pill” taken nearly directly after sex and it has no effect as far as i know if taken after the second abortion pill (as it cannot stop the induced misscarriage).

    Hence, please avoid bringing the reversal offered by Heartbeat International in connection with “morning after pill”, cause at least according to the usual use of terms that is wrong – and “pro-choicer” like to exploit such things and often do with good effect.

    Otherwise recommending what Heartbeat International does and the reversal is of course good, it can save the unborn humans.

    (As a side note, the reversal procedure is disputed so much by many on medical grounds, cause as said above with just the first pill the abortion rate is about 90%; the reversal probably reduced that to something like 50%; which is good, as it increases the survival chance of an unborn human, whose mother has second thoughts after taking the first abortion pill, from 10% to 50%.

    But of course it is a hell of a statistic and science job to provide data proving that something increases some chances from 10% to 50% in certain emergency situations with a precision, that others can not simply claim that the data provided is not just chance and the real chance is still 10% in spite of the reversal treatment.

    But the people working on this are on that job and hopefully in a few years time they will have the data, so that even Planned Parenthood et al. have to conceed, that it does work)

  10. David says:

    If you anticipate frequently removing such appliqués, I suggest against Velcro. Repeatedly removing all those tiny hooks can harm the fabric. A pin is much less destructive. Tape could be another option but I would not leave it in contact with the fabric longer than necessary as I would fear possible long-term damage from the materials in the tape.

  11. JustaSinner says:

    Silly me, I thought ‘arms’ were for Tactical Shotguns in appropriate priestly colors…

    [That too.]

  12. Fr. John says:

    Great idea Father, some of us do not have “Arms” and I would love to research this more. Any suggestions for resources? Zenit reported several years ago that the Vatican was going to publish a “manual” on ecclesiastical arms but I have not been able to find that this was actually published and is available purchase.

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