The chasuble is the outer vestment worn by a priest for the celebration of Mass. Originally shaped like a bell, over time the chasuble was reduced to a more manageable shape. This chasuble of Pope Urban VIII is a “fiddle-back” shaped chasuble commonly connected with the Tridentine Mass. The cut-outs in the vestments allowed for a priest, standing with his back to the people to easily elevate the consecrated host and wine above his head so the people might see them.
The backing of this richly embroidered chasuble is made of white silk woven with silver thread. The decoration consists of five large floral motives which are vertically divided in three panels by gold braiding. The edges of the chasuble are accented with a different gold braid. The front and back are ornamented in a similar fashion.
Conservation of this chasuble was possible courtesy of the Minnesota chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, 2003.