Back in February I posted about a nice set of vestments decorated with coats of arms worn by the Archbishop of Newark. Generally speaking I don’t think this is usually pulled off very well. But, every now and again you come across an example where the use of heraldry as a decoration on vesture actually works rather nicely. I recently came across another example. At the Archabbey of St. Vincent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania there is a very nice set of festive vestments which had been a gift to the Archabbey from the Abbey of Montserrat in Spain. That community had been the beneficiary of some financial aid from the monks at St. Vincent after the Spanish Civil War when they were in great need. In gratitude, the Spanish monks presented the community with some of their handiwork in the form of beautifully embroidered vestments with the coat of arms of St. Vincent on the front of the chasuble. What you can’t see is the beautifully embroidered portrait of St. Benedict that is on the back of the chasuble. Nevertheless, the embroidered coat of arms on the front is very nicely done. Unfortunately, because the Archabbot insists on wearing his pectoral cross on the outside of the chasuble, incorrectly I might add, he obscures part of the shield from view. The chasuble has recently been slightly reconstructed because the base material began to fall apart but the front of the vestment with all the embroidery has remained intact despite being 70+ years old.
This is the arms of the Abbey of Montserrat:
It would be better to speak about this monks as Catalonian monks.
Sorry, I forget to explain it. This are canting arms. The moutain (mont) and the saw (serra). Montserrat means “Serrated Mountain”
Not to mention the Archabbot should have his pectoral cross on a black-and-gold cord, not on the chain.
And that is related to the subject of heraldry on vestments…how?
You yourself stated the unfortunate aspect of the Archabbot insisting on wearing his pectoral cross on the outside of the chasuble. It’s furthermore unfortunate that he isn’t using the proper cord for his pectoral cross. I don’t believe that your comment only referred to the fact that it obscured the view of the chausble but of the unfortunate tendency of prelates to wear their pectoral cross outside their chasuble. I was simply mentioning the further unfortunate aspect of using the wrong cord.
That’s precisely what I meant. Cord or chain the pectoral cross would still block the coat of arms. If the Archabbot had worn his cross under his chasuble the cost if arms would not be obscured. That’s why I mentioned it. This blog isn’t about vesture or liturgical propriety. It’s about heraldry. I was pointing out that the coat if arms was unnecessarily being obscured. From what it was hanging is immaterial.