Guest blogger Mantilla Amontillado is the founder of Veritas Vestments. She holds a degree in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery from Salamanca University. She has done the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella three times on horseback. In 2016 she entered the Carmelite Monastery of Porto Sangria where she is a novice in the Reformed Discalced Order of St Teresa of the Holy Thorn. Her name in religion is Sister Teresa Berchman de Santo Sudario.
OK Hon. Somebody visiting me here in the convent was telling me the priests are not wanting an alb with lace on it. They are saying this is for senoritas. That it is not manly. Let me tell you hon, this is crazy. Maybe people should read the history of fashion like me, Sister Teresa Berchman has done it.
Anybody look at pictures they find maybe by Rembrandt they will see men wearing lace. They wearing yards of lace, and these men are no sissies, let me tell you hon! These are soldiers. Maybe sometimes they wear white wigs or they have long hair. Maybe sometimes they wear ear rings and jewels in their nose. People make a fashion statement only knowing what they think today. So maybe they see lacey sexy underwear for ladies in a store–and maybe they spend too long looking at it. You know what I mean hon? So they are thinking that lace is for ladies and for being sexy.
So this person say, “Mantilla (she forget to use my new sister name) why do the priest have lace on their cotta and alb?”
“Listen hon.” I tell her. “The reason is because lace used to be very expensive. OK. So now they make cheap lace on a machine, but the real lace, it is still not cheap you know? And so they want to give glory to God and give God something beautiful. So in the past maybe a woman makes a little bit of lace and she is making the alb or cotta for Padre and so she put some lace in it. It is her little gift you now what I mean hon? This is a beautiful thing.”
So then she understand. And maybe too they are making the alb and cotta and they put some extra lace in it and maybe they sell it to the priest for a little bit more money. So is it wrong to make a profit and get money to support your family? I don’t think so hon.
Sister Teresa has to go now hon. But you remember what maybe an English priest tell me once. We talking about lace and he want lots of it in the alb I am making for him and he say, “Remember Mantilla, ‘More Lace. More Grace.”