Chucking out has yielded fruit.
At St Aidan’s I found a complete set of maniples. The maniple is the vestment that the priest wears over his left arm, rather like the towel you see on a waiter’s arm in a posh restaurant. And that is exactly what it is. Of all the vestments, the maniple is the one signifying that Christian ministry is about service and waiting. For the life of me I don’t know why it fell out of use. It’s now back in use at St Aidan’s and at St Paul’s, where there’s also a complete set.
St Aidan’s has been given a book of readings for the lectern, a Book of Gospels to carry in procession, and – praise be – a thurible and stand for incense on special occasions. This is wonderful. Holy Scripture duly honoured.
St Paul’s, not to be outdone, has been given a green dalmatic. This is the vestment worn by the deacon (assistant) at mass. There are several white and gold dalmatics and one purple one, but until now no green one, and no red one. Anyone out there like to give us a red one? Don’t hang back. Whatever the dalmatic’s function is or was, it looks lovely. We do well to remember that beauty of all sorts is part of the Divine.
I wonder what other treasures will come to light.