Vestments are the ecclesiastical robes and garments that are worn by clergymen during Mass and other religious ceremonies. These garments are often ancient and are commonly steeped in historical significance and symbolism. Here we will be looking at the liturgical uses of the gothic chasuble. Visit vestment.co.uk to purchase beautiful gothic chasubles.
The Gothic Chasuble
A chasuble is instantly recognizable as one of the most widespread priestly garbs. Even people who do not attend Mass would be able to point one out! The gothic chasuble is the large poncho-like garment that is worn over the priest's other clothes, the outermost item of clothing that the priest will wear for services. They are long pieces extended to the ankles or shins and tapering upward to the arms - they are usually loose and flowing, sometimes colourful and often embellished with beautiful artwork depicting sacred images and holy references. The gothic chasuble is seen across churches worldwide.
Gothic chasubles refer to a specific type of chasuble, they are longer and more flowing than their roman counterparts and are heavily embellished and detailed. They can be very grand pieces and are very commonly seen within churches.
Considering the splendor of the gothic chasubles, it surprisingly has fairly humble beginnings. Several historical texts cite the chasuble to have originated from protective ponchos or raincoats used by ancient Roman farmers to protect themselves from the elements. Priests of the roman empire would adorn the poncho prior to Mass, and this became so commonplace that by the third century B.C. it had become associated with the priesthood.
Eventually, around the eighth century B.C. the chasuble was wholly reserved by the church to be worn by priests and began to be woven from finer fabrics and adorned with liturgical symbols, reflecting its new and more sacred function. At some point after being adopted by the church the sacred cloth was a piece that was large and grand - often priests required assistance whilst wearing it due to the voluminous folds of fabric. This began to be cut back to help functionality - and while has passed through several different variations over the years it has become what we know today.
Gothic chasubles are the priest's outerwear, and so are amongst the most visible vestments that priests can wear, this means that the chasuble's colour is important. The colour of the outer clothing represents the current celebration for the liturgical calendar—such as purple for advent and Lent, white for Christmas and Easter—and is often decorated with religious symbols such as crosses and doves.
Gothic chasubles themselves are a symbol of charity. They are referred to as the “yoke of Christ’ ‘and serve to remind the priest that he is representing Christ during the Mass. Ultimately they represent the bond between the priest and Christ during service. Alongside this, the gothic chasuble also represents the garment that Christ wore as he was led to his crucifixion, therefore bonding the service of Mass and the priest with the sacrifice of Jesus.
To conclude, gothic chasubles are aligned with Mass and priestly service like bread and wine. Not only bonding the priests to Christ, but also representing the charity of the church. They are magnificent and holy garments that have been used by priests in service for hundreds of years.
The gothic chasuble is as instantly recognizable as it is sacred - a special liturgical attire that graces the altars of churches across the world.