Catholic Church Vestments

Below are images of ornate vestments from the Catholic Church in the parish of Killimor.

They include: a Dalmatic, a Chasuble, , a Stole, a Cope and Humeral Veil.

A letter from Ms. Alex Ward, Art and Industrial Division, National Museum of Ireland, states that these vestments were lent to the Museum in November 1945, by Fr. Madden P.P. 1930-1935.   Fr. Madden requested that the vestments be returned for the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the consecration of the Bishop, Dr. Dignan, to be held in St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe.  The return of the vestments from the National Museum in 1949 appears to have been permanent, and the letter indicates that the Museum supplied a display case so that they could be safely exhibited in St. Joseph’s College.  Church records do not clarify if these vestments were bought by, or donated to the parish.  Hugh Maguire, from the Hunt Museum, describes the design of the vestments as ‘very distinctive and can’t be before a particular wave of Celtic revivalism late 19th century at the earliest’.


The Dalmatic is a knee length, sleeved garment which was developed in Dalmatia (now Croatia).  It was imported into Rome in the 2nd century and was worn by Roman Senators and Officials instead of the Toga.  At times from the 9th to the 14th centuries bishops and priests wore the Dalmatic under the Chasuble.  Nowadays priests celebrating the ordinary form of the Mass never use it.  However on solemn occasions the Dalmatic may be worn by deacons, priests, bishops and cardinals.


The Chasuble is a vestment worn over all others during Liturgical Services and denotes solemnity and formality.  It is worn with a Stole and the colour varies according to the Liturgical Season being celebrated.


The Stole is a long, narrow, rectangular vestment worm around the neck.  It is a badge of office which may be worn only by ordained clergy.  Stoles are usually the appropriate colour for the Liturgical Season being celebrated.

The Humeral Veil is worn on the shoulders of the priest when holding the Sacred Host at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  It is also worn when carrying the Blessed Sacrament in Procession.  The Veil is 2.75m long and 90cm wide and is normally made of silk or cloth of gold.


The Cope is an ornate, cape-like garment.  It is worn by the celebrant, whether priest or bishop, in Processions, at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and at other Blessings and Consecrations.  It is never used by a priest in celebrating the Mass.  The Cope usually follows the colours as signed to the Liturgical Season being celebrated.




A view of the back of the Cope showing the floral design with pomegranates and Birds of Paradise.

This page was added on 17/02/2017.

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