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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Festive Humeral Veil with Cross Festive Humeral Veil with Cross

Item Number: 59295
Price: $295.00
Availability: Ships within 10-15 Business Days

This beautiful Festive Humeral Veil is created in cream fabric and measures 108" length  x 22" wide.  An 18" wide panel is centered in back and decorated with a simple, tasteful gold cross. Simple yet elegant this is truly stunning vestment.


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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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Roncalli Humeral Veil Roncalli Humeral Veil

Item Number: 59300
Price: $325.00
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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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Gallagher Cross Dalmatic Gallagher Cross Dalmatic

Item Number: 9032
Price: $425.00
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This Gallagher Cross© Dalmatic is truly unique vestment, depicting an amazingly intricate Celtic cross and knot design. Would make a great gift for a deacon with Irish heritage! The dalmatic measures 51in. wide x 52in. long in standard size and features a 2in. cuffed sleeve.  Ample size measures 52in. long x 60in. wide.  The cross design on the front is standard; to have the …


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Chi-Rho and Grapes Polyester Dalmatic and Stole Chi-Rho and Grapes Polyester Dalmatic and Stole

Item Number: 9882
Price: $444.00
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A finely worked embroidery design of a Chi-Rho details the front of this dalmatic .  This light weight polyester vestment is available in Red, Green, Violet, Cream and Brilliant White.  The photo is the matching chasuble, item 9881 .  Made in England.


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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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Modern Wheat and Grapes Chasuble Hayes and Finch Modern Wheat and Grapes Chasuble

Item Number: 9895
Price: $282.00
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Detailed panelling featuring a grapes and wheat design adorns the front and back of this full cut vestment.  Available in Red, Green, Violet, and Cream.  Includes a plain stole.


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Lily Humeral Veil Lily Humeral Veil

Item Number: 59299
Price: $325.00
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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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IHS Scroll Chasuble IHS Scroll Chasuble

Item Number: 24298
Price: $679.00
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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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Agnus Dei Chasuble Agnus Dei Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11747
Price: $392.00
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This intricate embroidered Agnus Dei design is the focus of this full flowing chasuble. The design is worked in a combination of red, white and gold threads which emphasises the detail of the gold bound hem edge. Each chasuble comes complete with a plain stole. Available in Soft Cream only. Back length: 48in . Width: 61in . Diakon fabric, a special mix of polyester fabrics. Each vestment in …


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Lamb Of God Cope Lamb Of God Cope  Quick Ship is Available!
Gold Banding
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 9469
Price: $595.00
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This cope is crafted in Poland. It is created from a rich white brocade base fabric and accented with gold metallic banding and gold tassels. A beautiful, inspirational Lamb of God image adorns the hood. A fine and tasteful vestment. Cope measures 60" in length. Unlined


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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
Price: $1,898.00
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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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