Definitions of Roman Catholic Vestment Terms


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


 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.)



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.)




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.)



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.)


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.)


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.)


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.


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.)


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.)



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.



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].)



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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Traditional Cross and Wheat Chasuble Traditional Cross and Wheat Chasuble

Item Number: 24322
Price: $342.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This classic, traditional gold vestment is detailed with contrasting front and back panels featuring a cross and wheat design. Available with red, green, violet and cream center panels on a gold base fabric. Supplied complete with a plain stole. Measures 50" long x 61" wide.

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Miraculous Medal Marian Chasuble Miraculous Medal Marian Chasuble

Item Number: 24332
Price: $478.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This pale cream chasuble features front and back panels of contrasting blue fabric, each detailed with stunning embroideries worked in gold and silver threads. The vestment is trimmed with fine gold-bound hem edges, and is supplied complete with a plain stole. Available only in cream with a blue trim. Measures 50" long x 61" wide.


Simple Chasuble Simple Chasuble

Item Number: 24297
Price: $342.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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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Our Lady Icon Chasuble Our Lady Icon Chasuble

Item Number: 24315
Price: $488.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

Detailed icon-style embroidery is the focus of this flowing chasuble. Made in lightweight Dakion fabric, the garment hangs in deep folds about the wearer. A neat collared neckline and finely-bound hem edges complete the finish of this stunning vestment. Plain stole included. Available in pale cream only.


Lily Humeral Veil Lily Humeral Veil

Item Number: 59299
Price: $325.00
Availability: Ships within 10-15 Business Days

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 …


IHS Scroll Chasuble IHS Scroll Chasuble

Item Number: 24298
Price: $679.00
Availability: Ships within 7-10 Business Days

This stunning chasuble features a traditional IHS and scroll design, creating the focus on this full-cut, soft-flowing vestment. Each chasuble is supplied complete with a plain stole. Available in red, green, violet and cream. Measures 50" long x 61" wide.

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Christmas Chasuble Christmas Chasuble

Item Number: 24335
Price: $392.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This stunning seasonal Chasuble is embroidered with a Nativity scene on the front and a Christmas star on the back. It features a roll-neck collar and is supplied complete with a plain stole. A wonderful vestment for the Christmas season. Available in pale cream only. Measures 50" long x 61" wide.


Modern IHS Dalmatic Hayes and Finch Modern IHS Dalmatic

Item Number: 9902
Price: $444.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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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St. Joseph & Child Chasuble St. Joseph & Child Chasuble

Item Number: 24328
Price: $654.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This exquisite chasuble features a hand-painted embroidered image of St. Joseph and Child on the front, with a cross and lily design on the back. This flowing, unlined vestment has a roll-neck collar, gold-bound hem edges and is supplied complete with a plain stole. This would be the perfect gift for a priest who has a special devotion to St. Joseph. Available in soft cream only. Measures …


Hayes and Finch St. Cuthbert Cross Chasuble Hayes and Finch St. Cuthbert Cross Chasuble

Item Number: 24306
Price: $427.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This panelled vestment is detailed front and back with an embroidered St. Cuthbert's Cross design. Supplied complete with a plain stole. Available in red, green, cream, and violet. Measures 50" long x 61" wide.

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Marian Lily Chasuble Marian Lily Chasuble

Item Number: 24329
Price: $548.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This elegant Marian chasuble  features a blue orphrey with an "M", crown, and lily design. The front and back designs differ as featured. A truly beautiful vestment to honor Our Lady. Comes complete with a plain stole. Measures 50" long x 61" wide. Available in white or pale cream.

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Poly/Wool Alb With Cross Lace Accent - XL Poly/Wool Alb With Cross Lace Accent - X-Large

Item Number: 92739
Price: $254.50
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

An elegant and superior vestment, this off-white alb features an exquisite Latin Cross patterned lace accent, one inch (1") lace with Latin Crosses on sleeves and three inch (3") lace with Latin Crosses on bottom. The alb is made of a tropical weight polyester/wool blended fabric. Button closure. Please refer to chart for XL sizing information.   For more options see  …

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