Definitions of Roman Catholic Vestment Terms

 

Catholic vestments have several unfamiliar terms. Here is a brief glossary to help you figure them out.

ALB

 full length white linen vestment secured with a cincture used at Mass. An adaptation of the under tunic of the Greeks and Romans of the fourth century. It is blessed before being worn. It symbolizes the garment in which Christ was clothed by Herod and the purity of the soul with which the Sacrifice of the Mass should be offered. "Make me white O Lord and cleanse my heart that, made white by the Blood of the Lamb, I may be able to serve Thee" is said by the priest as he puts on the alb. It is also the white garment worm by the newly baptized person from Holy Saturday to the Sunday after Easter, Low Sunday, sometimes called the "Sunday in white." (From the Latin albus, white.)

 

AMICE

A short, oblong vestment of white linen worn beneath the alb to cover the shoulders of the priest while celebrating Mass. Now optional in the Latin Rite. When putting on the amice, the priest says, "Put on my head, O Lord, the helmet of salvation in order to repel the assaults of the devil." (From the Latin amictus, garment, mantle, cloak; from amicire, to throw around.)

 

CASSOCK

 

The ecclesiastical garb of all clerics. A ling, close-fitting garment that is sometimes belted. For ordinary use it is usually black in color. Cardinals may wear one of red color or with red piping, cincture and buttons; a bishop may wear purple. The Pope's is always white. (From the Italian casacca, greatcoat.)

 

CHASUBLE

A sleeveless outer garment worn by a priest at Mass. It is worn over all other vestments and is made of silk, velvet, or other rich material usually decorated with symbols. The arms are to be free when it is worn. It symbolizes the yoke of Christ and signifies charity. (From the Latin casula, a little house; hence a mantle.)


CINCTURE

A belt, girdle, or cord tied around the waist of an alb. Worn by the priest at Mass, it confines the garment. It is usually a cord with tassel of the liturgical color of the day. It symbolizes chastity. Refers also to the belt of a religious habit. (From the Latin cinctura, a girdle.)


COPE

A long cape worm by priests and bishops at certain religious rites. Open in front, like a mantle, it reaches to the floor and is fastened on the breast with a clasp. It is worn in processions, at Benediction, and at other solemn offices, Mass excepted. (From the Latin cappa, cape.)


DALMATIC

An outer liturgical garment worn by a deacon at Mass and in solemn processions. It has wide short sleeves, reaches to the knees, and is open at the sides. It is of the same material and color as the vestments of the celebrant. It was introduced from Dalmatia (hence its name) to Rome as a secular garment in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian.


HUMERAL VEIL

A long oblong piece of silk or vestment material often richly ornamented or embroidered, worn over the shoulders and covering the hands of the priest as he gives the blessing with the Sacred Host in the monstrance at benediction (Eucharistiae Sacramentum, 1973, III, 92). It is also used when sacred vessels with their reserved contents are carried from one tabernacle to another or in procession. (From the Latin humerus, the shoulder.)


MANIPLE

An ornamented small vestment, long and narrow, formerly worn over the left arm of a celebrant at Mass. Originally it was a folded handkerchief. It is no longer a required vestment. (From the Latin manipulus, that which fills the hand; from manus, hand.)

 

STOLE

A liturgical vestment composed of a strip of material, several inches wide, and worn around the neck by priests and bishops; at the left shoulder like a sash by deacons, for the celebration of Mass, administration of the sacraments, and ceremonies of the Blessed Sacrament.

 

SURPLICE

A large-sleeved tunic of half length, made of linen or cotton, without a cincture, and occasionally embroidered at hem and sleeves. It is a liturgical garment worn by all clergy in choir, during processions, and when administering the sacraments. Worn over the cassock. (From the Latin superpellicium [originally worn by clergymen of northern countries over their fur coats].)

 

VESTMENTS

Special garments worn by the clergy, in conformity with Church regulations, at the celebration of the mass, administration of the sacrament, in procession, when giving blessings, and in general whenever exercising their official priestly duties. The use of vestments goes back to the ritual garb of the priesthood of Aaron. In the Catholic Church, even in catacomb days, priests and bishops were specially, if not always distinctively, garbed when celebrating the liturgy. With the Church's liberation and her emergence into public life, liturgical garments were commonly used to distinguish them from secular dress.

The order of vesting according to the Tridentine Rite:

amice, alb, cincture, maniple, stole and chasuble.

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Square Collar Surplice Square Collar Surplice
Insertion Lace Accent

Item Number: 60075
Price: $149.90
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This Murphy brand square yoked surplice is elegant in its simplicity. Insertion lace trims the deeply pleated body and straight sleeves of this square yoked clergy surplice. A basic, yet classy and high quality vestment. Made of  machine-washable Viva* fabric for ease of wear and care. *Viva means long life for your new surplice. The distinctively durable Viva is woven of 100% …


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Purple Trenton Fiddleback Chasuble Purple Trenton Fiddleback Chasuble

Item Number: 10323
Price: $675.00
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This vestment is a Roman fiddleback chasuble created from an elegant purple trenton fabric for the base with an intricate and elegant Harvest orphrey against a panel of rich velvet. Gold galloon trim completes the eloquence of this traditional Roman style vestment. A truly stunning vestment and ideal for a reverent Mass. Length is 41in. Includes matching fringed underlay stole. Burse, veil, …


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Hayes & Finch Square Cross Chasuble Hayes & Finch Square Cross Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11758
Price: $282.00
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Striking chasuble detailed with front and back panels with a contemporary cross design. The central design is complimented by the finely bound gold hem edges. The versatile, quality chasuble is available in Red, Green, Violet and Cream and each comes complete with a plain stole. Dakion polyester, crepe fabric. Back length: 48in. Width 61in.


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Lily Humeral Veil Lily Humeral Veil

Item Number: 59299
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This humeral veil is elegant in its simplicity. It is created in a high-quality white fabric and adorned with a lily appliqué on the back panel. Gold galloon accents complete this stunning vestment. It measures 108" length  x 22" wide.  A decorated 18" wide panel is centered in back.  A metallic clasp closure holds the humeral veil in place.  Humeral …


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Hayes & Finch Evesham Dalmatic and Stole Hayes & Finch Evesham Dalmatic and Stole  Quick Ship is Available!
Traditional Range Collection

Item Number: 10150
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This Semi-Gothic Dalmatic and Deacon's stole in Evesham brocade, 63% polyester, 27% viscose, 10% metallic yarn. Traditionally cut, lined with gold taffeta. It is completed with an orphrey of deep red velvet edged with gold dice braiding in ladder design. It comes with a complimenting trimmed stole, finished with a brass chain at the hip.  A truly stunning vestment ideal for any …


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Cross and Grapes Dalmatic Hayes and Finch Cross and Grapes Dalmatic

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Stunning trailing grapes and wheat embroidery design cascades down the front and back of this spectacular vestment.  Made of Dakion polyester and available in Red, Green, Cream and Violet.  The picture is of the matching chasuble ( 9853 ).


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Purple Tapestry of Life Dalmatic Purple Tapestry of Life Dalmatic

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This purple dalmatic features a Tapestry of Life™ orphrey . with a a beautiful and finely detailed image pattern of the Holy Spirit and a host and chalice accented with grapes and greenery. This beautiful vestment is made in the U.S.A . from a wrinkle-resistant fabric, and features maroon velvet cuffs. It is available in other liturgical colors; please call for details. Standard …


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Modern IHS Dalmatic Hayes and Finch Modern IHS Dalmatic

Item Number: 9902
Price: $444.00
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This classic vestment is simple yet elegant, made of beautiful Dakion fabric and enhanced with a simple, refined IHS and cross image embroidered on front and back. A high quality and versatile vestment perfect for any reverent Mass. Available in Red, Green, Cream, White, and Violet.  The picture is for the matching chasuble ( 11755 ).


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Hayes & Finch Chasuble with Contemporary Cross Design Hayes & Finch Chasuble with Contemporary Cross Des  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11756
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This full cut chasuable is created in soft, easy to care for Dakion polyester and detailed front and back with a simple, classy contemporary cross design. A quality vestment that is basic and versatile yet elegant in its subtlety. Ideal for any reverent Mass. Comes complete with a plain stole. Available in Red, Green, Cream and Violet. Back length: 48in. Width 61in. Dakion polyester fabric.


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Tapestry of Life Dalmatic Tapestry of Life Dalmatic
Gold Base with Red Velvet Trim

Item Number: 9033
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Unique and Popular Tapestry of Life Design! This dalmatic features an tapestry orphrey with a a beautiful and finely detailed image pattern of the Holy Spirit and a host and chalice accented with grapes and greenery. This elaborately designed tapestry of life style is a unique and very popular vestment design. With the tapestry against gold base fabric and trimmed with red velvet, this …


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Roncalli Humeral Veil Roncalli Humeral Veil

Item Number: 59300
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This is a stunning Roncalli Humeral Veil created in gold high-quality base fabric and accented with an 18" panel of gold and green Roncalli tapestry edged with gold and green galloon. A truly stunning and refined vestment. The humeral veil measures 108" length  x 22" wide.  A decorated 18" wide panel is centered in back.  A metallic clasp closure holds the …


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Simple Chasuble Simple Chasuble

Item Number: 24297
Price: $342.00
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This simple and beautiful full cut vestment is made from soft, flowing Dakion fabric, designed to drape in gracious folds about the wearer. It is trimmed with a center front and back panel of complementing self-colored brocade. Features a neat collared neckline and gold-bound hem edges. Comes complete with a plain stole. Available in red, green, violet, and cream. Measures 50" long x …


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