[quote="jkuebler, post:1, topic:220956"]
The Catechism tells us that in the Eucharistic Liturgy, the role of the celebrant is defined as “in persona Christi,” that is, he is acting in the person of Christ. We can certainly hear the person of Christ as the celebrant says Jesus’ words in Scripture and Prayer, but can we “see” the person of Christ? What we do see is the celebrant draped entirely in a Liturgical garment, the chasuble, with its symbolic Liturgical color. There are many depictions of Jesus in art that help us to visualize Him, but none of the familiar images depict Jesus wearing a chasuble.
In fact, under this Liturgical garment, the celebrant is actually wearing Sacramental garments. In dressing for a Sacrament, the celebrant first puts on a long white robe, the alb, and wraps a cord, the cincture, around his waist. Jesus is most often depicted and described as wearing some kind of long, white garment, which would have been gathered around the waist by a belt. White, although a practical color for the time and place, also symbolizes purity and innocence, the perfect Lamb of God, sacrificed for our salvation.
A long strip of cloth, the stole, is then draped over the shoulders, as a yoke is draped over an ox’s shoulders to harness it to its burden. Jesus Himself gave us this metaphor, “My yoke is easy; my burden is light.” The yoke/stole symbolizes Jesus’ mission: to proclaim the Kingdom of God (3rd Luminous Mystery), the mission that He passed on to His Apostles and their successors. Hiding these vivid and effective symbols under the chasuble seems to violate the proverb that Jesus also gave us: “You don’t light a lamp and put it under a basket.”
How and when could we expose these hidden Sacramental symbols during the Liturgy? As the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins, the Sanctus, with the Hosannas, recalls the beginning of the Paschal Mystery, Palm Sunday, when Jesus paraded into Jerusalem and the men took off their cloaks and placed them on the road in tribute to Him. The celebrant could enter into this action instead of just standing at the altar, waiting for the vocalizing to end. How fitting would be the 2nd line of the Sanctus, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” who, without the chasuble, can now be realistically “seen”.
We could then more easily visualize Jesus as the Paschal Mystery is re-presented during the Eucharistic Prayer. The celebrant both narrates and performs Jesus’ actions, extending the reality of the Last Supper and Sacrifice on the Cross to us. The white robe once again symbolizes the innocence of the Lamb as we vocalize the threefold Lamb of God litany, and the celebrant proclaims, “This is the Lamb of God, …”.
The Paschal Mystery continues as, after Communion, the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle and everyone sits quietly, symbolizing the quiet of Jesus’ time in the grave; then we all rise to our feet, symbolizing the Resurrection. After rising, the Paschal Mystery concludes, as Jesus gave the Apostles their final instructions and the Great Commission, “Go and teach all nations …” before taking His leave of them in the Ascension. Similarly, the celebrant gives us our final instructions, blessing, and our on-going assignment, “Go in peace to love and serve …,” before taking his leave.
The Liturgical chasuble is proper for the Liturgy of the Word which is defined by the various Liturgical cycles and feasts, but it should be removed for the Liturgy/Sacrament of the Eucharist, to permit the “person of Christ” to be more realistically depicted in the re-presentation of the Paschal Mystery.
We have no images of Christ so we cannot know what he looked like. From history we could assume how he may have dressed.
The stole represents the office of the priest. The chasuble represents the "yoke of Christ". That is why is more correct and symbolic for the chasuble to be worn over the stole although many clerics place the stole over the chasuble. It is more appropriate that the priest's outer vestment represents the "yoke of Christ" he bears than a vestment that emphasises his office.