According to the decisions of the Congregation of Rites chasubles must not be of linen, cotton or woollen stuffs, but of silk; though a mixture of wool (or linen and cotton) and silk is allowed if the silk completely cover the other material on the outer side; spun glass thread, as a substitute for gold or silver thread, is also forbidden, owing to the possible danger to the priest's health through broken fragments falling into the chalice.
For the extremely exiguous proportions of some chasubles actually in use, which have been robbed of all the beauty of form they ever possessed, less respectable motives have sometimes been responsible, viz.
- Comparative shape and size of Chasubles as now in use in various countries.
This, however, did not represent any definite rule; and the orphreys of chasubles were decorated with a great variety of pictorial subjects, scriptural or drawn from the stories of the saints, while the rest of the vestment was either left plain or, if embroidered, most usually decorated with arabesque patterns of foliage or animals.
Its use was furiously assailed by the extremer Reformers but, in spite of their efforts, was retained by Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity, and enforced by the advertisements and injunctions issued under her authority, which ordered the "massing vestments" - chasubles, albs, stoles and the like - to be destroyed.
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