An EF Mass question

Why does an Altar server (?) hold up the Priest’s vestment in the back during the elevation of the host or at any other times in the EF? I think I know the answer but I just want to see what is the reason?

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In the middle ages, chasubles were very heavy and ornate, and draped over the arms of the priest. Often, during the elevations, the chasuble would pull the sleeves of the alb back. There was a rubric against the priest celebrating Mass with his arms bared, and so to prevent the chasuble from pulling back on the alb sleeves, the server would lift up the chasuble. Even though later chasubles, like the “Neri” style or the fiddleback, were cut much higher and didn’t have this problem, the motion remained as a historical callback and a mark of reverence.



Thanks Father that’s not what I thought at all.

I honestly thought it was like Royalty. When a King or Queen walks their train is carried. I thought since a Priest is holding the King of Heaven and Earth at Consecration that’s why his Chasuble was lifted. As a sign of honor, Adoration, Praise and Glory…

@edward_george1 in our weekly OF Mass at the Cathedral aired online the last 2 months the Altar server holds up the sleeve of the Bishop’s Chasuble when he is incensing the Altar, Paschal Candle, The ambo where the Gospel is read. Is it the same reason as you stated above or some other reason?

It’s that same kind of courtesy, but it also has the practical significance of allowing for greater mobility while using the thurible.


Glad I asked now I know the true reason for this. Thanks Father.

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And here I always thought that signifies part in Scriptures where woman touched robe of our Lord and got healed. It would not be too far in my mind to act like that with someone acting “in Persona Christi” and consecrating Eucharist. Then again I was never sure about this, it was merely an assumption :smiley:

It’s nice to know it’s real historical meaning. Thank you for information Father.


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