Altar Linens Questions

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Margaret_Ellen

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I have inherited the blessed task of caring for the altar linens, including purificators, lavaboes, and corporals. I am looking for information on the correct methods of washing, ironing, folding, etc., of these sacred items. I am also having trouble with the ladies who put these items out at Mass times, as they insist on putting the wrong linens out. Is it wrong to put a used corporal back in the clean linen drawer after Mass? It seems wrong to me. Any help would be much appreciated. Are there any books for sacristans? The one we have tends to be rather disrespectful of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.
 
Margaret Ellen:
I have inherited the blessed task of caring for the altar linens, including purificators, lavaboes, and corporals. I am looking for information on the correct methods of washing, ironing, folding, etc., of these sacred items. I am also having trouble with the ladies who put these items out at Mass times, as they insist on putting the wrong linens out. Is it wrong to put a used corporal back in the clean linen drawer after Mass? It seems wrong to me. Any help would be much appreciated. Are there any books for sacristans? The one we have tends to be rather disrespectful of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.
Precious Blood must be removed from the linens before they are washed by pre-soaking them in water. This process can take up to a week at times depending on the volume of Precious Blood, particularly on purificators.

The water from the pre-soaking must not be poured down the regular drain. It must be poured down a sacrarium or reverently on the ground in a garden.

The ladies should be taught how to set-up for the Mass.

No matter what, some of the Most Blessed Sacrament will end-up on the corporal. Unless the circumstances are dire, I too think the corporal needs to be laundered after every use.

It will be interesting to hear if you learn of a good book…
 
Wow ! I never realised that all the cloths at Mass had to be laundered in such a special way.

But it sure makes sense.

I am interested in an Apologist or someone else listing what book or publishing this is all listed in.

Love Kellie
 
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kellie:
Wow ! I never realised that all the cloths at Mass had to be laundered in such a special way.

But it sure makes sense.

I am interested in an Apologist or someone else listing what book or publishing this is all listed in.

Love Kellie
This came from EWTNs sacristan.
 
There used to be a “sacristy manual,” the proper title of which I do not remember, but a search of the larger, mail-order, Catholic book vendors may make available a copy. You mentioned a Book" which did not show proper respect for the Blessed Eucharist. If it is modern (last 30-years), I am not surprised. Look for a manual pre-1962. It covered everything that could or should happen in the sacristy with or about the vessels, vestments, linens, all of the Mass implements and supplies, and all of the procedures in connection with them.
 
You might check out the USCCB website Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy newsletter from March 2001

usccb.org/liturgy/innews/032001.htm

Usually the purificator is folded in thirds to make a long strip and then folded in half

Corporals are usually folded in thirds one way and then the other so that as it is folded all of the crumbs will go toward the center and be caught there. Hopefully altar servers know that these are not “table cloths” to be flipped around when they set up or clear the altar.

I’m sure there are more questions, but I hope this provides some sort of a start for you.🙂
 
Our parish doesn’t have a sacrarium… :nope:

ughhh!
 
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ShanMcCatholic:
Our parish doesn’t have a sacrarium… :nope:

ughhh!
No worries. Reverently pour the water out on the parish’s landscaping where no one will walk.
 
I believe the 2003 version of the GIRM covers this.

Pax
 
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Crusader:
No worries. Reverently pour the water out on the parish’s landscaping where no one will walk.
I guess I could retain the water from rinsing in some kind of vessel. I dunno- there is no one lady who washes the linens and I am quite positive they are not being taught to rinse the purificators ahead of time. And I know the pastor won’t care when I inform him that we ought o be doing this… can I just say big heavy sigh…
 
Dear Everyone,
Thanks for all the help concerning the linens! I will look for a pre-1962 sacristy manual. There may be one somewhere in the parish archives. I am most blessed to live within a block of the most conservative parish in Seattle. I knew about the rinsing and the pouring of the water in the earth. Our altar boys (wearing the traditional black cassocks and white surplices–which I am also in charge of) have been trained by the most reverent, orthodox gentleman one could dream of. I know this, because my son, now 13, has been serving daily Mass (including Saturdays, and funerals), as well as Saturday evening Mass for 3 years. After 15 years of wandering in the desert of liturgical abuses, I finally landed in Paradise! God Bless our two wonderful priests!! I would still like to hear from any one else about this matter. 🙂
Thanks again, Margaret Ellen 🙂
 
Margaret Ellen:
Dear Everyone,
Thanks for all the help concerning the linens! I will look for a pre-1962 sacristy manual. There may be one somewhere in the parish archives. I am most blessed to live within a block of the most conservative parish in Seattle. I knew about the rinsing and the pouring of the water in the earth. Our altar boys (wearing the traditional black cassocks and white surplices–which I am also in charge of) have been trained by the most reverent, orthodox gentleman one could dream of. I know this, because my son, now 13, has been serving daily Mass (including Saturdays, and funerals), as well as Saturday evening Mass for 3 years. After 15 years of wandering in the desert of liturgical abuses, I finally landed in Paradise! God Bless our two wonderful priests!! I would still like to hear from any one else about this matter. 🙂
Thanks again, Margaret Ellen 🙂
Good luck!

The “pre-1962” sacristy manual is simply bad advice however. While such a manual might indeed be wonderful, the fact that it was printed prior to 1962 means absolutely nothing.

Some of those who only accept the Tridentine Mass based on the 1962 Missal believe that date translates into other areas as some sort of marque of excellence and it does not.

Again, good luck, and thank God you landed in paradise!

P.S. What brand(s) of cassocks and surplices do you use?
 
Dear Crusader,
The majority of the cassocks for the altar boys are of the Abbey brand. The surplices are also the Abbey brand. We are blessed with quite a crowd of boys, ranging in age from 17 on down to 9, sixteen boys in all.
When I asked why there were no girl servers, I was told that it was because we had only black cassocks, which were reserved to males. I was informed that technically, all our altar boys (and any girls we might have) were supposed to wear red cassocks. At our Spanish language Masses, we do have girl servers, but then all the servers, male and female, wear a linen outfit that we refer to as an “alb”.
Sometimes the servers from the different groups like to serve together, but the girls wouldn’t fit into the traditional cassocks (even some of the plumper boys don’t). I had thought of sewing a set of less fitted outfits in the red color for everyone to wear.
In my 48 years I have not seen any one wearing the red colored cassocks. Does any one have any thoughts or comments on this ?
God bless you all,
Margaret Ellen 🙂
 
Margaret Ellen:
Dear Crusader,
The majority of the cassocks for the altar boys are of the Abbey brand. The surplices are also the Abbey brand. We are blessed with quite a crowd of boys, ranging in age from 17 on down to 9, sixteen boys in all.
When I asked why there were no girl servers, I was told that it was because we had only black cassocks, which were reserved to males. I was informed that technically, all our altar boys (and any girls we might have) were supposed to wear red cassocks. At our Spanish language Masses, we do have girl servers, but then all the servers, male and female, wear a linen outfit that we refer to as an “alb”.
Sometimes the servers from the different groups like to serve together, but the girls wouldn’t fit into the traditional cassocks (even some of the plumper boys don’t). I had thought of sewing a set of less fitted outfits in the red color for everyone to wear.
In my 48 years I have not seen any one wearing the red colored cassocks. Does any one have any thoughts or comments on this ?
God bless you all,
Margaret Ellen 🙂
The black cassocks are correct.

Cassocks and surplices should be limited to males. Albs can be worn by either female or males.

Some parishes do use red cassocks (the vatican uses a wine/violet color), but it can make an altar boy wearing a rea cassock and a white surplice look like he is vested like a cardinal…

I was curious about the Abbey vs. R.J. Toomey brands…
 
Dear Crusader,
I have not seen the R.J. Toomey brand. These cassocks were here before I arrived on the scene in 2001.
I just read your thread on male altar servers, and I agree with you. Both of my older daughters served at different parishes, and I noted the drop off in interest of the boys. I think my boy would drop off too, if he had to serve with “icky” girls!
I also agree about the color. I prefer the black cassocks, and white suplices. When my son (who now says he thinks he has a calling to the priesthood) first started out at age 10, he complained about “wearing a dress”, until I told him about the lace trim the surplices in my childhood parish had on them! Ours our plain style.
My “favorite” all day job is getting candle wax and incence scorches out of 20 sets of servers’ outfits (like the day that the Archbishop arrived for Confirmation) :eek:
Does Toomey put out a catalog? Some of our parents have ordered cassocks of the Abbey brand from our local Catholic book store. It would be nice to compare the prices.
 
Margaret Ellen:
Dear Crusader,
I have not seen the R.J. Toomey brand. These cassocks were here before I arrived on the scene in 2001.
I just read your thread on male altar servers, and I agree with you. Both of my older daughters served at different parishes, and I noted the drop off in interest of the boys. I think my boy would drop off too, if he had to serve with “icky” girls!
I also agree about the color. I prefer the black cassocks, and white suplices. When my son (who now says he thinks he has a calling to the priesthood) first started out at age 10, he complained about “wearing a dress”, until I told him about the lace trim the surplices in my childhood parish had on them! Ours our plain style.
My “favorite” all day job is getting candle wax and incence scorches out of 20 sets of servers’ outfits (like the day that the Archbishop arrived for Confirmation) :eek:
Does Toomey put out a catalog? Some of our parents have ordered cassocks of the Abbey brand from our local Catholic book store. It would be nice to compare the prices.
I’m not sure if Toomey has a catalog or not. You might check with www.catholicsupply.com or www.zieglers.com. I also like www.almy.com for their own brand.

No matter how you slice it, serving at the altar helps to foster priestly vocations. That reason alone sould ensure tht only those who might have a vocation be allowed to serve at the altar.
 
Sacristan’s Manual would be a better term to search for when looking for instructions on how to care for liturgical vestments, linens and equipment.

google.com will give you what is available now.

www.abebooks.com will connect you will an association of used booksellers around the world. They maybe able to scrounge up old books on the subject.
 
Dear Mary Ellen:

What parish in Seattle is conservative? When I lived there 25 years ago they were all liberal. I was a member of Bl. Sacrament, and Sacred Heart. There were no Byzantine parishes then. A Ukranian priest came down once a month to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Lady Chapel in the Cathedral. I understan that we now have St. Elias (former parish of Our Lady of Montevirgine).

Red was used as a cassock in the pre-Vatican II days for altar boys. Some wore a red or white cape over the surplice. It was worn on special feast days. White also was worn for weddings and special feast days, purple for Lent.

I belonged to a Carmelite parish. We wore brown tunics, brown cape and a leather belt for daily wear, funerals, and Sundays during Lent. We wore a white cape and sash on Sundays, weddings, and special feasts. I attended an “altar boy awards” Mass and saw many kinds of cassocks then.
 
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ShanMcCatholic:
Our parish doesn’t have a sacrarium… :nope:

ughhh!
All parishes are required to have one.

There is nothing wrong with using the same Corporal for several Masses. It must always be folded and unfolded properly to prevent dropping any fragments. If a drop of the Blood of Christ is spilled on it. Then it should be cleaned and not reused however. Purificators should not be reused from Mass to Mass.
 
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