Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dress the part

But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?' But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen."
[Gospel, Sunday October 12]

Father explained the today's Gospel parable using the symbolism of the white robe of baptism as the initial entrance to the wedding feast and the wedding garment as the mark of a Christian life filled of good deeds and embraced crosses giving one an invitation to the heaven, the wedding feast of the Lamb. It's also a good opportunity to revisit the importance of what people- both laity and clergy- wear to Mass.

To demonstrate the importance of Sunday, the Lord's Day, the laity should dress as nicely as possible for Mass to show our respect for God. One could even consider adopting the European custom of Sunday clothes. Maria Trapp notes "When we put on [our Sunday clothes], we invariably feel some of the Sunday spirit come over us."

In each piece of vestiture, the priest more fully puts on Christ. The traditional prayers for vesting follow.

While putting on the amice, which he first puts on his head, and then over his shoulders:
'Place upon me, O Lord, the helmet of salvation, that I may overcome the assaults of the devil.'

At the alb:
Purify me, Lord, and cleanse my heart so that, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, I may enjoy eternal bliss.

At the cincture:
Gird me, O Lord, with the girdle of purity, and extinguish in me all evil desires, that the virtue of chastity may abide in me.

At the maniple: Grant, O Lord, that I may so bear the maniple of weeping and sorrow, that I may receive the reward for my labors with rejoicing.

At the stole:
Restore unto me, O Lord, the stole of immortality, which was lost through the guilt of our first parents: and, although I am unworthy to approach Your sacred Mysteries, nevertheless grant unto me eternal joy.

At the chasuble:
O Lord, Who said: My yoke is easy and My burden light: grant that I may bear it well and follow after You with thanksgiving. Amen.

[image source: Catholic Child's Picture Dictionary]

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