Treasured Vestments Westminster Chasuble

The making of Ecclesiastical Vestments has a long and wonderful history. But what becomes of vestments from bygone days?  Much depends on the original materials of the vestment and of course how the vestment has been cared for.  Some Ecclesiastical Vestments fall into disrepair, and are discarded, while others become timeless treasures.

While searching around this weekend to see what is happening within the realm of Ecclesiastical Sewing, a series of articles on a treasure dating back hundreds of years was recently in the news. The reason? The vestment, a priceless chasuble that has survived and been cherished for centuries, was going to be worn again for the reburial of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral.

The chasuble, belonging now to Ushaw College, is part of their heritage collection. Ushaw is the former Catholic seminary at Ushaw Moor, near Durham.

Prior to being used for the reburial of a king, the vestment underwent an unveiling.

According to the article:

A PRICELESS vestment believed to be from the royal wardrobe of King Richard III will be worn by the Cardinal when he celebrates Requiem Mass for the soul of the 15th century monarch, it has been revealed.

The chasuble, known as the Westminster Vestment, is part of the heritage collection of Ushaw College, the former Catholic seminary at Ushaw Moor, near Durham.

The article goes on to say that the vestments may have been seen by King Richard himself, and according to tradition, it was originally worn by the Benedictine monks of Westminster Abbey during the reign of King Richard, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. The embroidery is said to be the same as described by the inventories of King Richards royal wardrobe, dating approximately from the third quarter of the 15th century.

The Westminster Chasuble is noted as being a wonderful example of Opus Anglicanum(English work), the beautiful style of ecclesiastical embroidery which England became famous during the Middle Ages.

The Westminster Chasuble has a notable history, and has been carefully preserved throughout the centuries.

The Ecclesiastical embroidery and colors are still vivid on the Westminster Chasuble. The front of the chasuble depicts the crucified Christ, along with the Roman Soldier who acknowledges Christ as the Son of God. The reverse side depicts the images of Saints Nicholas, Catherine, and Pancras.

I can only imagine the excitement of the wearer of this a priceless vestment. Although there must be some concern mixed in, this is not something that happens often and so the honor of the situation would outweigh any resignations.

Solo Dei Gloria

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