"O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O Happy Fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer!"
As we mark the Lenten days, with what longing will we hear these words sung at the Easter Vigil in the most glorious "Exsultet" (Easter Proclamation).
These words emblazon the chasuble of a Lenten Solemn High Mass Set. The heavy symbolism in the Tau of the chasuble is read from the bottom to top, and then side to side.
The skull -- at the bottom, we see the fall of man. The poppies (right) signify sleep, death, extravagance, indifference. The willow (left) signifies hope; its' branches flourish no matter how severely they're cut, symbolic of the gospel as it continues to flourish no matter how wide its' distribution.
The cross -- our redemption through Christ in the crucifixion. Juxtaposed against the secular crown of the Roman Emperor, we see the cruel parody and mockery of Our Lord's crown of thorns. Thorns -- God's punishment for the sin of Adam and Eve, referred to in Genesis.
The empty cocoon and butterfly -- our Lord's resurrection from the grave and victory over sin and death is our salvation through Christ. The evergreen and clinging nature of ivy (right) represent eternal life, undying affection and fidelity. The thistles (left) recall the fall and earthly sorrow for sin. At top, the text is embraced with the victor's laurels and the passion flower. Thank you to our dear Fr. Justin Braun for such an edifying commission. This truly was a Lenten journey!
The chasuble is a St. Philip Neri style cut.