Abundance of lace

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It seems that lace has made a come-back at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome! The Holy Father, a couple of bishops in deacons’ dalmatics and acting as deacons and not surprisingly at all, the Master of Ceremonies (to the right of B16 and one step behind the cross) are all in quite the elaborate lace albs and surplices. The word on the street is that this return to the “baby-doll” liturgical look is the work of Msgr. Marini,  B16’s liturgical director. In contrast there is another priest (to the left and one step behind) in the traditional “look” of the Vatican since Paul VI and during the pontificate of JPII.  It’s a clean, sober, elegant look without being over the top. I’ve also noticed more and more bishops in dalmatics. What’s that about? Are there not enough deacons in Rome? 


  1. A friend in Rome tells me he has seen plenty of lace over the years. I guess it’s not been so prominent at Papal liturgies. He also reminded me that the bishops in dalmatics may be Cardinal-Deacons. I thought they might be, but it’s a little odd after the restoration of the deaconate to have them in dalmatics. I guess “odd” is something to get used to.

  2. This is strickly a uninformed guess here, but I believe Pope Benedict XVI is very subtile in these things.

    The dalmatics are from St. Pope Pius X ( I found a photo of the back of the vestment with his papal coat of arms).

    Looking up this pope I found that his motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini http://www.adoremus.org/MotuProprio.html

    So the thrust is the emphasis on the restoration of Georgian chant!

    And as you noticed with the vestments there is both the shall we say Vat. II look and the pre-Vatican II look. Both are of the church!

  3. That’s pretty insightful. I actually like the vestments… If you can’t do “high” church at the Vatican… then where can you? I don’t mind a blend of the more contemporary and the more traditional. But I still find those particular lace albs and surplices way too silly.

  4. my first visit here…
    funny post about the lace. I agree, a little silly but who am I to say?!
    just checking Mass times since I’ll be in T.O. for a few days for this week.
    glad to find your blog, will check back in future!

  5. Yes, Cardinal Deacons. But we stopped dressing them up as deacons or using “wooden” deacons when the diaconate was restored. Go for the real thing… it’s what Catholics do best.

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