The Art of Mending Vestments: Guild of St Clare

It is universally true that vestments should be well maintained. Many thanks to the Guild of St. Clare in London for their important work, helping to repair vestments --a necessary service to help enhance the worthy celebration of the rites. This delicate art has traditionally been the work of nuns, parish volunteers, and altar and rosary society members. 

The Guild has done a great service and continues to do so. They organize vestment mending days every couple of months, where qualified volunteers are tasked with repairing vestments in need of some TLC. Worn and damaged fabrics are a common sight in almost any sacristy. It is impressive to see this initiative flourish, a worthwhile hobby for those involved who enjoy the art of sewing. 

Some months ago the Guild met at the parish hall of St. Mary Moorfields in London. Sewers of all levels of skill and experience participate, as there are tasks suited to all.  The guild also recently hosted a sewing retreat. All wonderful initiatives. The art of vestment making and repairing reflects an ordering to the highest human activity, the worship of God. 

It would be nice to see this volunteer business model emulated in other corners of the world, where damaged and old vestments showing wear are being neglected for lack of help to care for them. We must always make an effort for the things pertaining to the sacred liturgy to be vere dignae, decorae ac pulchrae (truly worthy, becoming and beautiful), and that vestments and all furnishings at the service of the liturgy should be digne et pulchre cultus decori inservire (worthy and beautifully serving the dignity of worship),  cf. SC, VII. 

Photos are courtesy of our good friends at the Latin Mass Society and the Guild. To all involved: keep up the fine work and thank you for being cognizant of this important need! 

The Guild's very interesting blog can be seen here


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