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.
The chasuble is the central vestment for the Holy Mass worn by a priest over all the other parts of liturgical clothing. Originating from a Roman conical cloak protecting from cold, it has retained its form throughout the Middle Ages. Its sides gradually became shorter allowing more freedom of movement, until it became similar to a magnificent shield. The 19th–20th century liturgical movements returned the ancient form of a cloak to the chasuble.
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, floral ornaments
The Crucified Christ is embroidered on the back of the chasuble.