Another Approach to Memento Mori on Vestments

Typically when we think of memento mori on chasubles, we've focused on the use of skulls, but of course there were other expressions, particularly as skulls went on the 'outs' during the mid 19th century. Another expression that took place was to include other symbols, which were frequently also used in the 18th century, such as the winged hour glass, scythes and so on. This particular example, coming from France is the 19th century, shows us just such motifs. 

Set on black velvet, we see not only memento mori, but also references to the Passion -- the central image being the Sacred Heart with the various instruments of the Passion encircling this in place of the more typical 'sunburst' design. In that regard, this chasuble could be used both for requiems as well as Good Fridays. 

For those of you who like the idea of including memento mori on your black vestments, but aren't quite ready or willing to re-include skulls or the Holy Souls of Purgatory, designs such as these may well prove an alternative option for you.

Photos: © Collectivité Territoriale de Corse

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