A Maundy Thursday Chasuble by the Dominican Sisters of Galway

The following chasuble was embroidered by the Dominican Sisters located in Galway, Ireland, however beyond that basic detail I have very little additional information -- so our readers will perhaps permit me to speculate on it a bit. Much in the style and design of the chasuble is suggestive of works coming from the later 18th or earlier 19th century, but in an instance like this it is difficult to know much for certain.  The underlining white/gold textile with its striped pattern was a type of pattern that did indeed gain a certain popularity within latter half of the 18th century and the shape of the chasuble is possibly suggestive of this period (as compared to the later 19th century when forms became significantly more standardized in many regards). The embroidery likewise has a certain "primitivism" akin to medieval work, something that is often associated with this period by comparison with the more polished embroideries of the later 19th century, but this primitivism could also simply be a stylistic choice rooted in the gothic revivalism of the mid 19th century. 

The most interesting aspect of this chasuble is for me, however, the symbols included. The inclusion of an image not just of the crucified Christ, but of Christ being taken down from the cross with Our Lady and St. John waiting (along with the skull of Adam) at its foot, as well as the front orphrey containing symbols of the Passion, such as the scourges and pillar, the spear and the gall, the crown of thorns and the cock who crowed at Jesus' betrayal, are all suggestive that this chasuble was likely envisioned for particular use within the Holy Thursday liturgy of the Triduum. We have featured chasubles like these before on LAJ, of course, and it is worth noting that there are no rules about what symbols can or cannot be paired with what liturgical colours, and so while this chasuble could well be used within any liturgical time that calls for white, it seems most likely that Holy Thursday was what was particularly envisioned given the symbolic theme presented. 

A couple of closer looks at this very unique chasuble. 

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