The use of contemporary textiles in liturgical vestments in Episcopal churches of the West Coast Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kh04ds59p

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  • The study examines the extent to which contemporary textiles and designs are being used in the Eucharistic vestments worn by Episcopal priests of the West Coast, and the relationship of such change in vesture to the age of the priest and to Liturgical revision presently taking place in the Church. Hypotheses are that correlation will not be found between the use of contemporary vestments, the use of Second Service of Services for Trial Use, and the age of the priest. Descriptive hypotheses of the study are that the more frequent Celebration of Holy Eucharist is associated with liturgical change, that contemporary vestments will be found in a minority of parish churches in the sample, that a variety of design techniques will be found, that traditional symbolism relatively freely expressed will predominate, and that contemporary vestments are not designed to coordinate with church architecture and color. A questionnaire developed by the writer was sent to a random sample of 300 Episcopal clergymen in California, Oregon, and Washington. A sample of 167 replies was used for evaluation. The use of contemporary vestments exceeded expectations, with 55.4% of the sample reporting their use at some time, and 34.5% indicating use of contemporary style vestments 50% or more of the time. This usage was found to be positively correlated with the use of the Second Service, Services for Trial Use, and negatively correlated with the age of the priest. Use of the Second Service was also found to be negatively correlated with the age of the priest, and liturgical change was found to be associated with increased frequency of Celebration of Holy Eucharist. A variety of design techniques was found, contemporary symbolism was slightly predominant over traditional symbolism, and consideration of church color and design was not a predominant influence upon design of vestments. Forty churches were visited, 130 vestments seen, and 36 priests interviewed. Contemporary vestments demonstrated many levels of artistic and sewing skills, professional and amateur design ability, and a wide variety of fabrics and symbols. A discussion of representative vestments, together with photographs includes evaluation in relation to liturgical principles and artistic unities and other factors of concern for textile artists and craftsmen finding opportunity to exercise their skills in the service of the Church.
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