Liturgical Gloves and the Construction of Public Religious Identity
Within the Catholic Church from around the tenth century onwards, liturgical gloves could be worn on specific occasions by those of the rank of bishop and above. Using a pair of seventeenth-century gloves in the Whitworth as a basis for further exploration, this article explores the meanings ascribed to liturgical gloves and the techniques used to make them. It argues that, within the ceremony of the mass, gloves had a specific role to play in allowing bishops to function performatively in the role of Christ.
-century most overseas bishops – and some archdeacons – had written new
forms and services for use in their dioceses. As colonial Anglican churches achieved greater
independence in the later nineteenth century, it was increasingly accepted that the Anglican
liturgy had to be made flexible. Indeed, when the Church of the Province of South Africa, an
independent body, was established in 1870, its constitution ruled that its governing body,
the provincial synod, had the power to introduce ‘adaptations and abridgements’
of the Book of
seventeenth century. In Britain, royal orders were addressed to everyone, but they had an unreal
quality as they presumed that everyone belonged to an established church. Because of this,
and because the two Anglican establishments, the Churches of England and Ireland, 16 used prescribed liturgies, orders issued
in England and Ireland contained instructions to senior Anglican clergy to prepare
appropriate forms of prayer for the occasion (in Scotland, orders took a different form and
were addressed to ministers in general: this was
Religious Life, Perfectae Caritatis (1965), gave religious institutes the impetus to revisit (amongst other things) how their institutes were governed and structured. Women’s religious congregations and orders took on this challenge in ways which subsequently shocked and dismayed some of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, Catholic laity as well as their own constituents.
What did renewal mean for religious life? The menu of changes that renewal could encompass was wide ranging. It included alterations in liturgy, both in the global Church and in the day-to-day lived prayer
, drew together over 2,500 bishops from around the world to
carry out John XXIII’s call for aggiornamento (translated as
‘updating’). The Council eventually ratified sixteen documents that
paved the way for reforms in many areas of Catholic life, including the
introduction of vernacular language in the Mass, new and more
sympathetic relations with other faiths and changes to the Catholic
who maintained the status quo. Instead, he called for a Council which began the movement to make Catholicism more relevant to the modern world. This was a pastoral council, concerned with ecclesiology and the nature and mission of the church. By the close of the Council on 8 December 1965, the primary published outputs of the council, sixteen decrees and encyclicals, had already begun to bring about changes in (amongst other things) liturgy; in the responsibilities of the laity and clergy; in relationships with other faith groups; in the role of an informed
just knowing that was where I was supposed to go. 133
And a few attributed the first stirrings of their vocation to the vocation exhibition. One attendee admitted:
I went to the Manchester religious vocations exhibition with a group from school and became very interested … I think probably my concept of what I wanted to do later in life became focused on religious life. I had been very interested in liturgy at school, prayer, and there was a group called the Sodality of Our Lady, which I was part of. And at this exhibition I collected information and I think
bedtime. Each of these hours has fixed liturgical structure with matins the most elaborate of the day; prime, terce, sext and none the simplest. Also known as the Liturgy of Hours and opus dei .
40 Sean Whittle , Vatican II and New Thinking about Catholic Education: The Impact and Legacy of Gravissimum Educationis ( Abingdon : Taylor & Francis , 2016 ).
41 Anonymised interview. Typically, exemptions to the horarium required specific permission of the mother superior or mother abbess.
42 Changes to the horarium specifically tied to the Divine Office
was founded in 1952, and there women religious took courses in theology (fundamental, dogmatic, ascetical and mystical), Holy Scripture, Canon Law, Church history, archaeology, sacred art, liturgy, missiology, catechetical methods, and the social teachings of the Church. The three-year diploma course enabled sisters to teach religion in any school in their diocese or archdiocese. 95 Closer to home, Corpus Christi College, a London-based catechetical college opened in 1965, aimed at updating Catholic educators on the message of the Second Vatican Council. Religious
this thinking. But they also encouraged the development of base communities and in this they were emboldening a Catholicism that would be Peruvian, not European. 122 Base communities were often created by the poor and marginalised and were a church of the poor rather than a church for the poor. 123 These groups were still connected to their local parish; community activities included weekly formation meetings, prayer groups and youth groups who prepared the liturgy. 124 The Sisters of Mercy instructed catechists, barrio residents who in turn taught Catholic