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Dom Eugene Roulin, OSB


Published in English in 1950, this invaluable resource on liturgical vestments and decorations has been difficult to obtain for decades!


The importance of this work in properly designing traditional vestments and vesture for the Latin Rite cannot be underestimated as explained in this commentary featured on the book's original dustjacket:

"All the vestments used in the liturgy, those of priest, deacon, subdeacon, and servers, those also of the altar and of the sanctuary, have a definite part to play in the life of the Church and a definite role to fulfil. They belong, in fact, to that great whole which is called the liturgy, a great and important thing, for it is concerned with religion and worship and with the mysteries of our faith. In consequence of this fact the vestments of the Church have a dependent character and a well-marked relativity; their sphere is large, but it has definite limits; and it is be recognising this dependence and these limits that we shall achieve liturgical balance and harmony.

The author's aim has been to produce a practical guide to liturgical and beautiful vestments, in order to help not only the professional makers of vestments, but also those devout women who take up the work from religious motives, and especially priests, who must follow the best liturgical traditions. He deals not only with the technical processes of manufacture but also with the aesthetics of vestments. He makes many comparisions between vestment and vestment, between this design and that design, between this style of ornamentation and that. It is hoped that such a manual of 'practical theory' will help to produce good vestments


The contents of this unique book include these chapters:

  • Essential Principles and Evolution of Liturgical Vesture
  • Church Linen
  • Materials and Colours
  • The Chasuble (1): From the Beginning to the XIXth Century
  • The Chasuble (2): The Gothic Revival and After
  • The Chasuble (3): The Liturgical Revival of the XXth Century
  • Liturgical Vesture and Modern Art
  • Full Chasubles Lawful, Traditional and Beautiful
  • Practical Notes on Chasubles and their Accessories
  • Stole and Maniple. Dalmatic and Tunic. Cope, Humeral Veil, Burse and Chalice Veil
  • Frontals and Hangings
  • Canopies and Veils
  • Pontifical Insignia
  • Faults of Taste and Their Cure
  • The Use of Symbols
  • Ornament in General
  • Some Methods of Ornament
  • Banners (Appendix)


The book is heavily illustrated and fully indexed. Several additional items have been added to this reprint such as:

  • Author's Biography
  • A Tribute to the Genius of Dom Roulin (Appendix II)


This reference work is a must have for those involved in church decorations, the making of sacred vestments and linens, as well as altar sodalities, architects, the clergy and anyone else who has an interest in such ecclesiastical matters.


Softcover, 340 pages, illustrated and indexed.




Two Classic Texts Help Expand Liturgical Horizons of the Clothes-Minded
Trent Beattie; Adoremus Bulletin
"Roulin’s book is more expansive and detailed than Norris’s, covering the underpinnings of vestments from the early Church through the early 20th century—and also addressing banners, altar linens, tabernacle veils, and canopies. Not only is an objective historical sketch offered, but so is subjective analysis of what makes for good vestments and what does not..." Read the full review

Vestments and Vesture

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