Embroidery on a red chasuble, with stole, at St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London NW6. According to Dr. J. Wickham Legg, red was often the colour traditionally used at Passiontide, "in England at Sarum, Westminster, and Wells," for example (108), although a brighter red (as in this case) could be for festive seasons. The emblems carried by the angels here are the virtues, strength, knowledge, godliness etc. so this would have been more suitable for those occasion. Red was also suitable for Communion (participation in the sacrifice), or Pentecost, because of the affinity of red with flames (see Legg 91 again). As for the stole, this item of priestly attire was said to represent the yoke of Christ, having borne which the priest could hope to achieve immortality (see "Popery," 21; High Church Anglicans would adopt the same ideas). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Photographs by John Salmon, with thanks to St Augustine's Church; text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit John Salmon and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.

Related Material


"Popery." The Christian Witness and Church Members Magazine. Vol. 13. 1856. Google Books. Free Ebook.

Legg, Dr. J. Wickham. "Notes on the History of the Liturgical Colours." Transactions of St Paul's Ecclesiological Society. 1885. 95-134. Google Books. Free Ebook.

Created 27 April 2021