Dalmatic

The power and wealth of the Spanish monarchy and Catholic Church was embodied in the resplendent vestments and furnishing used by the churches and monasteries of Colonial Latin America. Some were excess vestments sent from Spanish churches, while others were special commissions financed by the colonial bishoprics or paid for by alms and tithes from wealthy parishoners.

This dalmatic features highly ornate embroidery and richly detailed borders. Red has a dual imagery: On one hand, red symbolizes the shedding of blood and is therefore used on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, any other commemoration of the Lord’s passion, the votive Mass of the Precious Blood, the days marking the martyrdom of the apostles (except St. John), and the feasts of other martyrs who offered their lives for the faith.

On the other hand, red also signifies the burning fire of God’s love. For this reason, red vestments are worn on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and tongues of fire rested on their heads; for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation; and for the votive Masses of the Holy Spirit.