Scourges, Maniples and More

In December of 2019, LAJ published an article on a pontifical set of vestments from the 16th-17th century, located in the Sistine Chapel. With Lent fast coming upon us, I wished to highlight a couple of the designs from that set which may have not gained sufficient attention in the original article -- lost. as they understandably were, in the light of the splendid chasuble, dalmatic and cope from the same set. 

If readers will, however, turn their attention away from those pieces and look instead to the stoles and maniples from the set, they will be treated to something both unique and interesting.

On the stole you will note the spear (see upper left) which pierced the side of Christ:

Working down toward the ends of the stole, we see the reeds and sponges which contained the vinegar and gall which were offered to Christ on the Cross:

Finally, and perhaps of greatest interest, on the maniples we see the scourges which were used during the flagellation of Christ:

An interesting point to be found in these is a reminder that we should not think too formulaically about vestment design. What do I mean? That while we might be normally accustomed to seeing a cross on the ends of maniples and stoles, there is room for other alternatives as well. Similarly, while we might normally associate symbols such as these with Lent (and thus purple or possibly black vestments) there is no reason why these symbols must be so restricted.

In short, there is room for the Catholic imagination.

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.