I am looking for Pre-Vatican II sources of guidelines (norms) for vestment making, including their traditional guidelines for lining colors for the priestly vestments that priests wear at the altar, as well as what color of orphreys* are permitted on the vestments, etc.

For example, I believe that it was tradition that sliver was the only color that was allowed to adorn black vestments prior to Vatican II.

Any sources would be greatly appreciated.

*The OED defines "orphrey" as "2. Christian Church. A usually richly embroidered ornamental border, band, or panel on a liturgical vestment, altar frontal, etc."

  • @KenGraham Etymologically, the word comes from aurum / or (gold). – Geremia Dec 20 '16 at 16:24
  • After only a few years, I'll have a look here - Panoplia clericalis, seu De clericorum tonsura et habitu (The clerical outfit, or Concerning the tonsure and dress of clerics). archive.org/details/bub_gb_6U8CCOsHNQ4C/page/n4 – Matt Gutting Oct 13 at 1:51

See the bibliography (pp. 222-223) of:

Most of the references therein are on the liturgy, but there are a few specifically related to vestments, e.g., Nainfa's Costume of Prelates of the Catholic Church (1926) p. 35 says:

Since the seventeenth century, black is the obligatory color for the clothing of the secular clergy of second rank in all the Western church.


     Prelates, Bishops and the members of the Sacred College also use black for their everyday costume (and their street-dress in Catholic countries); but their black dress is trimmed with red or purple, according to their rank in the hierarchy, and the different seasons of the ecclesiastical year, as will be explained further on.

Searching that book for "trimmed with", you will find several results for the color trimmings used for the vestments of clergy of various ranks or religious orders.

  • 2
    The question seems to be quite definitely about vestments for Mass, that is, chasubles and the like, rather than ordinary dress like cassocks. – Andrew Leach Dec 20 '16 at 17:19
  • @AndrewLeach Both the books I mention don't make that distinction, although they do discuss vestments that are only used at Mass. – Geremia Dec 20 '16 at 17:28

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