Havel’s deacons

A reader alerted me to the fact that two deacons served at Vaclav Havel’s funeral Mass this morning. Two things are striking: they seem older, and are probably permanent deacons, not seminarians. And: no dalmatics? For a state funeral?


  1. Deacon CGM. says:

    Deacon Greg…
    I believe they are wearing plain white dalmatics with purple overlay stoles. You can see the sleeve of the dalmatic, just slightly.

    Good to see two permanent deacons preparing the altar.

    Christmas blessings!

  2. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Well, if that’s the case, they’re incorrect. Stoles are always to be worn under the dalmatic, not over. (Bill Ditewig will call the Vestment Police on them! ;-))

    And if they’re wearing white dalmatics, video on YouTube shows that the celebrants are wearing purple chasubles.

  3. It’s quite a mélange and the vestment police will definitely be needed…

    The first commenter is correct. They are wearing purple stoles over white dalmatics. Most of the concelebrating priests are also wearing purple stoles over white chasubles. But the principal celebrant’s chasuble is neither white nor purple, but black!!!

  4. Deacon Bill says:

    Dear Greg,

    Ah, one of my favorite liturgical fashion statements — stoles over dalmatics/chasubles — NOT! LOL!

    Vis-a-vis the colors, however, that’s not a problem. As liturgists are fond of saying, “White is always right.” That’s why, if there are multiple concelebrants, for example, and there aren’t enough vestments of the color required, white may be substituted. In this case, they probably didn’t have purple dalmatics for the deacons, so they did this instead.

    Much more important than any of this, however: RIP, Vaclav!

    Merry Christmas Eve!


    PS And, of course, all of the discussion about liturgical colors, etc., really only applies to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, not to our sisters and brothers in the Eastern Catholic Churches.

  5. Deacon Larry says:

    With all of this concern over vesture, it seems most important to acknowledge the wonder of this Catholic presence at the funeral of the man who helped to free the Czech and Slovak peoples from more than 70 years of state-sponsored religious oppression and the forced secularization of the Czech society. Here we see again the victory that darkness will not overcome the Light! Indeed may the mercy of God rest upon Vaclav Havel!

  6. How powerful a message of liberty and freedom ( and progress) is it when the Archbishop of Prague officiates at his funeral mass and tells of talking and playing chess with Havel while both were held in prison by the communists in the 1980′s.
    I sincerely doubt that of everything they spoke about in those years , that neither could envision a day when Father Duka would preside at the state funeral of playwright/ dissent Havel in St Vitus Cathedral.

    A reminder of what the grace of God can do in empowering and ennobling courageous men and woman. RIP Havel.

  7. i have been at two parishes where the pastors and vicar’s wore their stole’s over their chasubles. We had very inadequate dalmatics so I seldom wore one. One pastor had very beautiful handmade stoles crafted by his mother. So he always wore them outside the chasuble ( when he wore one).

    The other parish was a hispanic parish. At that parish it was their inclination as well to wear stoles on the outside.

    Wrong or not, I thought it was quite attractive a practice.


  8. The only reference to Havel’s religion that I remember is that he was a non-believer; did something change?

  9. I’m not sure what his Faith was or if he had any but hey look at the send off Teddy got.

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