Holy Planking!

“According to Wikipedia, ‘Planking is the act of lying face down with arms to the sides of the body, in unusual public spaces and photographing it. The term ‘planking’ was coined in Australia and became a fad in 2011.’ I can in fact confirm that “Planking” has its origins in liturgy.”   — Tony Robertson at “The Holy Irritant”


    1. “what are the red things hanging down the backs of the acolytes?”

      Often other acolytes – it’s Extraordinary after all!

      Seriously, I think you’ll find they’re a kind of “tassellated” end of cords (and thus both wider phylacteries AND longer tassels cf Matt 23:5) which bear, on the wearer’s breast, the medal of the Archconfraternity of Saint Stephen, a guild for altar servers:


      1. From the link home page, where VC may have
        already visited,
        Around the edge are the Latin words of the Guild motto:


        Why type a “V” when a “U” is available?
        And where do they get the certainty that Christus is the impllied object, not Deus, or Ecclessia, or anything else?

        This wearing of personal decorations while ministering is where clericalism leads the laity.

        I think these two recommendations are in conflict.

        – Carry out the ceremonies calmly and without drawing too much attention to yourself

        – Wear the Guild medal on all occasions when serving.

      2. Chris, I wonder whether they might be variations of the discipline. Gives a whole new meaning to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline.

  1. The Phillipe Collection has a whole hierarchy of pectoral cross cords. And of course, altar boys are at the bottom of the hierarchy!

    See images 40 through 51.


    “The Pope, the cardinals, bishops and other prelates, as well as clergymen (abbots, provincials, …) wear their pectoral cross on top of their choir cassocks. The cord holding the cross in place is woven with golden string. Its colour is indicative of the rank, status and affiliation. There are also parishes where the altar servers wear a medallion with a depiction of the parish’s patron saint, Holy Mary or a little cross held by a single coloured cord (which will match the robe in colour). “

    1. As listed:
      “Image 44 [634-1670]
      Within the Roman Catholic church, this pectoral cross-cord is used by acolytes and altar servers to fix their pectoral crosses. Worn on top of the robe during liturgy. colour: reddish violet”

      Since when do acolytes, much less “altar servers” get to wear pectoral crosses?

      This has been one of my petty pet peeves with many “alternative” “Catholic” priests, the wearing of a pectoral cross over their albs, or even with a stole over the alb. I thought pectoral crosses worn during the liturgy were restricted to bishops.

    2. The images look absolutely revolting.

      They look like some of the cords that would have been used for the scourging at the pillar. And the wearers like some of those who would have carried it out.

      Another far cry from Nazareth.

    3. Well the whole Phillipe Collection of ecclesiastical fineries [sic] of which this is only a small part is a monument to rank, status and affiliation, a reminder of how far we have strayed from the warnings of Jesus about money, status and power.

      In regard to pectoral crosses, I think a lot of the “rules” have to do with when, and with what you wear the pectoral cross. Most of the page has to do with “choir” dress, i.e. what a bishop, priest, etc would wear when they assist at Mass or the Divine Office as part of the “choir” e.g. sit in the choir stalls, rather than as a presider, concelebrant or any other liturgical minister. I think they rationalize the colored robes for altar boys as “choir dress” rather than the traditional cassock and surplice. I don’t think you are supposed to wear a pectoral cross with cassock and surplice or albs, etc.

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