New gear came from Rome, today. I had a pair of vimpae made with Bp. Hying’s coat-of-arms.
These are used during Masses with bishops by the ministers who hold the miter and the crosier.
Also, there are silver shoe buckles.
According to a Decree of the Sacred Congregation for Rites 3268, 3 and and to Nainfa’s Costume of Prelates of the Catholic Church, According to Roman Etiquette, that clerics had to/have to have shoes with polished steel buckles. Big shots could/can have gilded buckles. The Caerimoniale Episcoporum now in force says: Calcei sint usuales, nigri coloris, sine fibulis. Paul VI with Dress, Titles, and Coat of Arms of Cardinals, Bishops and Lesser Prelates abolished buckles in 1969.
1969. Other than the Camaro, not a good year.*
In any event, because of Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae we ignore the abolitionist Paul VI’s move in 1969 when we use the Extraordinary. That is to say, we use the manner of dress for Mass and for being in choir as it was in 1962. That means that we do use the mantelletta, the sash with tassels, the shoe buckles, the red poms on the biretta for prelates of honor, the mantellone for lesser prelates.
This is not because we want to make Mass into a kind of liturgical Colonial Williamsburg, but rather as a counter to the rank individualism which has so infected clergy in the last 50 years and to foster humility.
Dressing up bishops and priests is not about finery and frippery. It isn’t about the cleric at all. It’s about preparing the victim for the altar. It’s about giving our best to God. It’s about decorum and humility. The rules for dress, like the rubrics for Mass, kept the cleric under tight control, just as uniforms do in the military, etc. I think it is appalling that certain priests or prelates, low and high, refuse to put on this thing or that thing which their office or occasion or liturgical role requires because, by gum, they know better. That’s rank clericalism. That’s exaltation of self. When you see a patient bishop standing mute and docile as he is being dressed for a Pontifical Mass, when you see the priest laboring under hot and sometimes uncomfortable vestments and you view the action through the lenses of the particular vesting prayers, something of the genius inhering of the Roman Rite begins to shine through in a kind of liturgical transfiguration.
It is like the Pauline concept of putting on “the new man”, manifested in ritual gesture. In Galatians, Paul writes: “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.”
In the vesting of a bishop before Mass he prayers with the words of Ephesians 6:15 and Psalm 60:5: “Shod my feet, Lord, unto the preparation of the gospel of peace, and protect me under the cover of thy wings.”
We conform to the rites and the rites shape us. We are our rites.
This is why the rites themselves ought to change ever so slowly, in an organic way, always in continuity, not with the brutal imposition of artificially created and innovation riddled forms. That is why we need to reestablish the Roman use and then have a long period of stability in which we once again become comfortable in the rites, not in the self-consciousness of learning or novelty.
I’ve written about buckles before, and I added the observation that Summorum Pontificum was , if you get my drift.
Anyway, it seems that the laws still in force in 1962 priests were directed to have buckles on their shoes for Mass even if that was honored more in the breach and in the observance. I’m looking for the text of the Decree from the Sacred Congregation for Rites about buckles on the priest’s shoes for Mass. Maybe one of you readers has already done this.
So, I considering now the use of buckles. How do they look?
* Not to be confused with the camauro, which when it was worn Benedict XVI there was some serious horsepower under the hood.