Pentecost Vestments for Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

Altarworthy, a vestment maker based out of the United States, recently published news on social media about a set of vestments made for Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, for the occasion of the solemnity of Pentecost on May 19, 2024 in the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. This particular Mass also featured the debut of a new Mass setting by composer Frank La Rocca, the Missa Pange Lingua -- the same composer who composed the "Mass of the Americas" setting that Archbishop Cordileone also pontificated at in Washington D.C.  (A recording of the Mass is available here.)

Altarworthy provided LAJ with some further background around the vestment set:
Leveraging an historic fabric design from our silk mill’s archives, we had a silk damask custom-milled for this Solemn Set. Christ is seen in the Eucharistic symbols of wheat and grapes. Marian flowers are also a part of the floral motif in bunches of roses and morning glory (also called Our Lady’s Mantle due to their clinging nature).

The Archbishop challenged us to create a depiction of the Burning Bush to convey Pentecost in this Solemn Set. Above is our rendering explaining the Catholic symbolism contained within it (and is read bottom to top):

• Root of Jesse (roots)

• Our Lady as mediatrix and dispenser of graces (flowers below tongues of fire)

• The Sacred Heart in the negative space: roots (veins), floral (crown), leaves (blood), fire (bush)

• Burning bush (unconsumed roots/ foliage)

• Burning bush is a symbol of Christ’s passion (tradition tells us it was a bramble bush)

• Burning bush is also said to be a prophetic image of Mary who gave birth to Christ and yet remained a virgin

• Holy Spirit (rays/ tongues of fire)

• Holy Spirit’s Seven Gifts (7 rays on each side of fire)

The secondary brocade chosen is from Spain as we sought to represent the rich Catholic history of the California Spanish missions in this set. The rich ochre gold of the brocade and silk tassels reflect some of the color palette of these missions. The galloon’s red dots symbolize tongues of fire and martyr’s blood. The materials for this set were sourced from 6 countries: Silk damask – United Kingdom, Brocade – Spain, Silk linings – India, Velvet – Netherlands, Galloon – France, Silk Cloth of Gold for miter – Czechia.

This particular solemn set was a gift of Benedict XVI Institute to the archbishop and includes not only a full pontifical set, but also four concelebrant sets and three diaconal. Without further ado then, let's take a look at their work.

Concelebrant chasubles

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