Mantilla the Hon on Lace

Guest blogger Mantilla Amontillado is the founder of Veritas Vestments. She holds a degree in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery from Salamanca University. She has done the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella three times on horseback and is engaged to the famous matador, Senor Augusto Torquemada.

OK, hon we need to talk serious for a minute you know? I am hearing people say a priest should not be wearing lace in his alb or lace in his cotta or lace in his surplice. Why is this? Why so many people talking about something they know nothing?

Listen to me hon. Mantilla has not studied Ecclesiastical Haberdashery at Salamanca for nada. OK, so maybe I say what I think, but then maybe Mantilla know more about stuff than other people you know what I mean hon?

Some people say the priest like to wear lace in his cotta because he is some kind of pansy. What kind of insult is this to our priests? You know what hon? Augusto and the other matadors wear those tight pants and little jackets with sequins and those little hats, but nobody say he is a sissy. Anybody say that to Augusto and he will get the toreadors on him, and let me tell you hon, those toreadors don’t take no Toro mierde from nobody.

See Augusto and the matadors wear the fancy clothes because they are brave and strong, not because they are weak and sissies. The lace in the alb is something precious and beautiful. Real lace takes women who I buy it from many, many hours to make. At my company, Veritas Vestments, we put it in the albs and surplices not to adorn the priest, but to adorn the priesthood. Padre is doing something at the altar which is precious and rare and beautiful and good. The lace reminds us of this. No hon, the priest who wears the lace has to have some guts. I hear somebody say, “Only real men can wear lace.” I think Augusto agree but say, “Only real men can wear sequins.”

Some other people say, “Oh Mantilla, the priest should not spend so much money on putting lace in the alb. They should give the money to the poor.” OK  hon. The priest should help the poor, but he should also make the worship at the Mass something beautiful for God. You know what hon? Mantilla tell you a secret. The people who always say this about the priest he should give the money to the poor? These people are never giving money to either the church or to the poor. One time Monsignor Quixote tell me about these people. We were doing a display of vestments in the cathedral and some man come up and say this about giving money to the poor instead. Monsignor Quixote say to him, “Amigo, the person who say this in the gospel was Judas.” But the man was a communist and didn’t never read the gospel anyway, and say something very stupid like, “I think Judas was much misunderstood.” So Monsignor say to him, “If you like Judas so much maybe one day you will go and be with him.”

OK  hon. It is true that lace in the vestments costs some money, but let me tell you. Things that are beautiful and true do cost money. Love is extravagant you know? It’s like when a man buy a diamond ring for his fiancee when they get engaged. Nobody say, “Oh, that’s too expensive you should give the money to the poor.” No. They say, “Ohh. What a beautiful diamond. He must really love you very much.” Anyway, that’s what everyone say to me last summer in El Salvador when Augusto finally ask me to marry him. So now everybody asking me, “When is the day when you are getting married?” I think maybe in June hon, and don’t worry I discuss it with Augusto and make sure you are going to be bridesmaid okay?

Just don’t complain when Monsignor Quixote come out wearing that special alb I make him with lots of lace in it. OK hon?

  • Fr. Gary V.

    Mantilla would be very happy to see my vestment wardrobe. The fabric of my vestments are made of brocade and damask and they are embroidered with Christian symbols. They are not made of polyester with painted objects.

  • dixerit

    I have to lace up now. What Mantilla says, goes.

  • doctoreric

    Es verdad y no toro mierda. Real men wear lace.

  • Rose Marie

    Sitting in SB on King St. LOL!

  • priest’s wife

    lace "adorns the priesthood"- so true, Mantilla!

  • catholic4areason

    Mantilla–a question for you. My son went to Fatima and Madrid and the one thing my girls and I asked him to get us were veils (mantillas). He comes home sorry, but there weren't any to buy! Even another girl friend who was in the same group and veils for Mass looked for herself; she couldn't find any either. What is the problem? I thought Spanish lace was much sought after? Or is that only in the past?Thanks, Mantilla, and congratulations on your engagement!

  • piddingworth

    For habit maketh no monk; ne weringe of gilte spurres maketh no knight. Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Suburbanbanshee

    Piddingworth — But a naked monk or a monk in a tux doesn't work too well. Emergencies are another thing.St. Clare's surviving habit is very plain and was obviously worn to destruction around the knees, but it was very well made, very well sewn, and tailored on the bias in the proper way. The Poor Ladies had respect for their position as servants of Our Lord. St. Francis didn't give a dang what he wore, but his friars rustled up beautiful vestments for the priests for Mass.Priorities are important.

  • Sonja

    I always wondered about lace. Thank you!

  • piddingworth

    Suburbanbanshee said…Priorities are important. Indeed. And clothing oneself in dignified vestments oughtn't to preclude the sense in most of our culture that worn 'lace' is a dominantly feminine affectation although frequently seen on dining room tables. It really doesn't add much to the image of a priest or bishop. There is, or at least has been in the past, a rather unhealthy and narcissistic experience/fixation within the clerical culture of playing at 'dressing up' that itself signals the potential for perverse confusion. 'Lace' is not the problem. The man obsessed with it and its attachments is.

  • Elizabeth

    The assistant pastor in my parish, who is my age 33 years old, wears an antique lace alb on special occasions that is beautiful and was from a holy priest he knew who was imprisoned in the Gulag, and according to him this priest wore this alb in Siberia. He said this in a homily and on other occasions. I think he looks very manly in his beautiful lace alb. And if the brave Gulag priest lace alb is okay then other lace albs and surplices must also be admitted.

  • Suburbanbanshee

    If lace really bothers you, just think of it as some kind of white stencil.Lace is a neutral material when worn by priests, just like chasubles and other robes are a neutral style. Now, if some priest was walking around celebrating Mass with red leather vestments and a stole decorated with metal spikes and rivets and big black stompy boots and a hardhat biretta, I'd be fairly certain he was experiencing some difficulty with maturation of his sexuality.

  • David N

    You are so right, Hon.