Lithuania, circa 1909.
Church of St. Anne in Vilnius.

20th c. Tradition or change
In the first half of the 20th century, the appearance of liturgical vestments developed along the lines formed in the 19th century, but a hundred years in the tsarist Russian Empire, two world wars and the Soviet occupation caused Lithuania’s isolation from the life of the Universal Church. The making and embroidery of liturgical vestments went into decline. Vestments from the Lentvaris church whose patrons were the Tyszkiewiczs, distinguished by high quality and craftsmanship, were an exception.
Liturgical textiles for altar and church decoration
Sets of liturgical vestments were often supplemented by sumptuous textile implements of the altar. The veil and burse are coverings that conceal the chalice of the Holy Mass at certain moments in the liturgy. Antependia decorating the frontal part of the mensa were made from expensive materials: silk, brocade and velvet, and were embroidered with gold and silver threads and decorated with appliqué and painting.
Embroidery with metal and silk threads
A set of liturgical textile from St. Anne’s Church in Vilnius boasts artful embroidery of superb craftsmanship.
Images of Christ and scenes from the Gospel, symbols of faith

The Veil of Veronica with the face of Jesus continues the theme of the Instruments of the Passion (Arma Christi) known in art since the early Middle Ages. Instruments related to the Passion of Christ are depicted as arms that helped Christ achieve a victory against the Satan.