Do the vestments matter?

I’ve heard little side conversations here and there on this and other forums that the extraordinary form of the Mass will be almost impossible for the everyday parish because of the expense of purchasing everything required (I know this assumes these things are not packed up in boxes somewhere, but that’s besides the point).

A big ‘expense’ a lot of people have brought up is the need for Roman vestments. I’ve always thought that was odd - can’t the Tridentine be celebrated just as well in Gothic vestments? Is the ‘need’ purely asethetic or is there a theological reason behind them as well? Also, could the servers just wear the albs they wear now or do they need the same…robes (I’m sorry I don’t know the correct term) as in pictures I’ve seen from Pre-VII ? If so why?


The vestments are very expensive, and can be very prohibitive. A server at the Latin Mass where I attend said that Ebay really helped save them because they were able to get them much cheaper there. Everything the priest wears has great signficance, and he says a prayer with each one as he puts it on. Here is a link from the Catholic Encylopedia:


There are two forms of vestments that are not currently used that are needed in the Traditional Mass. The Maniple and Amice. The Maniple is a sort of scarf or ribbon that is worn on the left arm. It is in the color of the vestments of that day. You can generally find them on E-Bay at about 20-30 dollars. The Amice is a kind of shawl for lack of a better word that is worn around the neck and shoulders. It is white. Some priests still wear them. They are very inexpensive running about 30 bucks new. A cincture or a linen rope used as a belt is also required but again, I think they still use them, 15 dollars or so. The Biretta is also used although not by everyone. They run about 50 dollars on e-bay and up to 100 on the open market. The chasuble used today will suffice for the Traditional Mass as will the alb. So we are looking at around 100-200 dollars for the essentials needed for the Priest.

Now you will need a few other items. I assume that most Churches still have Ciborums, Chalices, Patens , Purificators. and Cruets. At least they are supposed to have them. So they will need a Corporal, a large napkin for lack of a better word and a Pall, a stiffened piece of white linen. Neither is expensive so lets add another 30 bucks into the fray, so we are up to about 230 bucks. A Crucifix and Candlesticks, we’ll need some of those is the Church doesn’t already have them, don’t laugh, some don’t, so lets toss in another 100 bucks.

The Missal itself. Well, they can be expensive or cheap and a good one, altar sized that looks good red leather and gold trim and all can run you about 2-300 dollars. Of course you can make do with a cheaper one that can be had for around 30 dollars. Altar Cards, three cards with essential priestly prayers and be bought complete for less then 50 dollars or downloaded and printed off the internet for free:thumbsup:

You’ll also need altar linens, at least three of them, so add another 100 bucks or so. Lest not forget a chalice veil, ciborum veil and burse. Another 100-200 bucks. Surplices and cassocks for the servers and dalmatics, lets go add another 300.00.

Total price less than $1,300.00. Most Parishes that I see today boast weekly collections in the tens of thousands of dollars so it is not a huge or overbearing investment at all, an could be spread out over time…

The objections that are being raised in this area are generally baseless and are brought forth only to demonstrate that the Traditional Mass cannot be said in the majority of places due to the prohibitive cost. HOGWASH pure and simple. Traditional Mass bashing at its finest.



More examples of Traditional Mass haters who will stop at nothing and use any excuse whatsoever to get their way.

Of course you can also go all out and purchase vestments that cost thousands of dollars and replace everything that the church currently has. **That **would be expensive, but is not at all necessary.

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