Embroidery on a purple dalmatic, such as would be "worn by a Bishop under a chasuble" (Legg 99), at St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London NW6. This dalmatic shows angels bearing scrolls: of the two examples here, the middle one holds a scroll with the words, "Aruit tamquam testa virtus mea," and the one on the right holds a similar scroll bearing the words, "et lingua mea adhesit faucibus meis." These go together. They are from the Vulgate, and occur in English in Psalm 22, verse 15: "My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws" (Psalm 22, 15); more lines from the psalm are held by the other embroidered angels.

The 1894 booklet about the church describes the same texts as being found on a "violet frontal" — no doubt matching this vestment — and suggests that the general meaning is that "joy and life," represented, for example, by the embroidered flowers, "come only through the Cross" (29). The two details of the dalmatic show its tassels, which could be worn either on the front or back of the vestment. Cf. the red dalmatic, following. [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


J., H. H. S. Augustine's Church, Kilburn. A Short Account of Its Structure, Vestments, and Other Works of Art. London: Morton & Burt, 1894. Hathi Trust. From a copy in the library of Princeton University. Web. 28 April 2021.

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.

Tribe, Shawn. "Tassels on Dalmatics and Tunics — Some Historical and Stylistic Considerations." Liturgical Arts Journal. 23 December 2019. Web. 29 April 2021.

Created 29 April 2021