Saturday, January 3, 2009

About white and gold vestments

Father Charles Johnson, the Navy chaplain pictured in our post on his celebration of the Feast of Saint John the Apostle aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, had this to share on the provenance of the vestments he used and on the tradition of using white vestments for Christmas while reserving gold for the Easter season.

The Roman style chasuble is a Gammarelli creation, obtained in vintage condition from a vendor in California. The fabric is called mille fiori, or "a thousand flowers". Another liturgical detail he shares, passed on to him through the kindness of Don Massimo Moroncelli, a Roman friend, is the custom of using only white vestments for the Christmas season with the exception of Epiphany, for which gold is used as for for Easter and Ascension. He informs that if one were to observe photos of Pius XII and others at Christmas, one will find them always garbed in white vestments.

Grazie mille, Fr. Johnson. We pray for fair winds and following seas for you and all our military at sea.