In the archive of my grandmother’s papers is a small collection of documents, prayer books and objects which are seemingly related to the Anglican Church. My grandmother frequented St Mark’s Anglican Church in Clayfield, Brisbane, as long as I can remember and it is probably the thing which most defines my memories of her.
Despite appearances, these documents do not actually relate to the Anglican Church, but to the Brisbane branch of the Catholic Apostolic Church, a Protestant group to which her parents and grandparents belonged. It is only recently that I’ve become aware of this history, though my father, aunts and uncles were all raised in the “CAC” and my grandparents were married at the old Catholic Apostolic Church on Manning Street in South Brisbane. The church was re-consecrated as an Anglican one in 1962 and eventually closed in 1979. In 2016 it was sold for $2.5 million after spending decades as the headquarters for a clothing brand!
- Jul 1880 - Birth - ; Chatham, Kent, England
- 27 Oct 1958 - Death - ; Queensland, Australia
In this post, I present a set of documents from my grandmother’s collection concerning the Catholic Apostolic Church, probably written by her uncle Alfred William Percival ‘Percy’ Mitchell or perhaps her father Kenneth Heath Laughton. It is four A4 pages, written in black ink and is in a sorry state of repair. It has been folded three times for storage and these folds are starting to tear. The first two pages list the vestments used by members of the Catholic Apostolic Church clergy. The second two pages list the clergy at attendance at a variety of services and the vestments they wore.
Future posts aim to discuss this document in detail, including a study of how these vestments and practices differ from those in other modern churches. This is the first time these documents have been published and they are an important original source for the religious practices of the Catholic Apostolic Church.
Guide to symbols:
<text> – editor’s notes
underlined – underlined text
[…] – lacuna
(^text) – additions above regular line of text
text – crossed out correction
Page 1 Transcript:
Cassock Black cassocks worn by acolytes, doorkeepers, underdeacons, deacons, priests, and by angels under certain circumstances, otherwise an angel’s cassock is purple. Priest’s cassocks are edged with the colour of their border, when the border of a priest has not been defined there is no edging. Angel’s cassocks are edged according to their border and standing.
Mozette Small cape worn by priests and angels when ministering in a cassock only or when wearing a rocket only. Mozettes are bordered similarly to the cassocks. The mozette of priest other than elders do not come below the elbow, those of elders and angels reach below the elbow.
Dalmatic Short white vestment reaching below the hips, and having short loose sleeves (and big round open […]), worn by acolytes and deacons; and silk ones by the assistants to the celebrant in the Holy Eucharist.
Rochet Short white vestment reaching below the hips with long “tight” sleeves and buttoned up to the neck. Worn by Angel and non-officiating priests and angel and priests at sermons, teachings etc and by priest homilist. An Angel’s rocket is usually rimmed with lace on the sleeves and on the bottom.
Surplice Full length white vestment made very full and with very wide loose sleeve, worn by priests officiating in the morning and evening services, litany etc.
Page 2 Transcript:
Alb Full length white vestment made very full with long tight sleeves. Girdles are always worn with Albs. Albs are worn in the Holy Eucharist by the celebrant and his (^priest) assistants and by such priests who assist in the Administration of Holy Communion.
Girdle Long white linen cord worn round the waist over an alb.
Chasuble Large circular vestment with opening in the center; and without sleeves. Worn by the celebrant in the Holy Eucharist.
Cope Large purple cloak worn by (^an) Angel presiding at Morning and evening services.
Page 3 Transcript:
Shorter Morning & Evening Angel – presiding – cassock, rochet, purple stole and cope 1st Priest – cassock, surplice + purple stole caught in front with cord. 2nd priest – same with white stole.Other priests – on Lord’s Day – cassock, rochet and mozette– other occasions – cassock + mozette 1st Deacon – (^cassock) dalmatic and red stole Other deacons – Lords day, – Cassock + dalmatic– other occasions – cassock only. An Angel when not presiding as at Litany or Forenoon Service – […] […] […] cassock either with or without rochet + no stole.
Holy Eucharist Celebrant – angel – Cassock with alb and girdle, white stole, not placed
through under girdle and caught in front with cord, and chasuble. Priest assistants – cassock, alb, girdle and white stole, without cord, crossed across the body and placed under girdle; & dalmatic. When only one assistant the dalmatic is not worn. Deacon Assistant, cassock with deacon’s dalmatic and white stole with […] dalmatic above.
Page 4 Transcript:
Holy Eucharist (ctd) Priests who assist in administration of Holy Communion – cassock, alb and girdle with white stole crossed + passed under girdle. Homilist not assisting in the Administration of Holy Communion – Cassock, rochet and mozette with white stole caught with cord in front. Should the homilist assist in the Administration of Holy Communion he will wear alb etc as above. Priests not assisting (^at H.C.) wears cassock and rocket without stoles and sit in their stalls. (^ Priests assisting at H.C. sit) [……..] stalls, and
the (^Priest) homilist always (unless he be a celebrant’s assistant) (^and) him only in the homilist’s seat next to table of Prothesis. Deacons – cassock, dalmatic and white stoles. Deacon homilist – same as usual but sits, in line with assisting priests, in the Lower Choir.