WEYDEN, Rogier van der
Christus on the Cross with Mary and St John
Of The Ornaments Belonging To The Priest
And first of the Amice.
1. Inocentius the third, speaking of the ornaments belonging to the Priest, saith, that the Vestments of the Evangelical Priest, do signify one thing in the head (to wit, our Saviour) and another in his members. And for as much, as both head and members, are understood, in the person of the Priest, therefore, these ornaments have sometimes, relation to the head, & sometimes to the members.
How by the Amice, is signified, the cloth that hid and covered our Saviours eyes.
2. According hereunto, the Priest putting the Amice before his face: representeth unto us, the mockeries, which the Son of God sustained, when his sacred eyes were blindfolded, & the perfidious Jews, buffeted him on the face, saying Prophecy unto us oh Christ, who is he that stroke thee? Mat.26.68.
How the crown of Thrones.
3. The putting the same afterwards upon his head: representeth unto us, the crown of Thorns, which those most wicked ministers, planted upon the head of our Blessed Saviour.
How recollection and attention.
4. Morally, the Amice admonisheth, that as the Priest covereth his head and face therewith, so ought we to be very vigilant (during the time of this divine Mystery:) that neither our eyes, nor understanding, be carried away, or busied about by vain cogitations.
How fortitude of good works.
5. The spreading of the same abroad, upon the Priests shoulders: doth signify, the fortitude of good works. For as the shoulders are made strong, to perform hard works: so a man (especially a Priest) ought neither to be idle, nor faint in working, but to insist & labour painfully, in well doing, according to that of the Apostle. Labour thou as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.2.Tim.2.3.
6. Lastly, the Priest putting on this ornament, prayeth, saying: impone Domine, &c. Put. o Lord, the Helmet of Salvation upon my head, that I may overcome all diabolical incursions. So that by the Amice, is also signifies Faith, which is indeed, the first and chiefest thing, that a christian ought to bring, coming to priest himself, at so great a Sacrament.
By John Heigham