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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Festive Humeral Veil with Cross Festive Humeral Veil with Cross

Item Number: 59295
Price: $295.00
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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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Hayes & Finch Chasuble with Contemporary Cross Design Hayes & Finch Chasuble with Contemporary Cross Des  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11756
Price: $392.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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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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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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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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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Cross and Grapes Dalmatic Hayes and Finch Cross and Grapes Dalmatic

Item Number: 9891
Price: $440.00
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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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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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Hayes & Finch Lurex Laced Chasuble Hayes & Finch Lurex Laced Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11752
Price: $300.00
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Hayes & Finch simple, yet elegant full cut vestment, which hangs in gracious folds about the priest. Stylish, yet subtle this simple chasuble is enhanced by the detail of gold lurex threads woven into the fabric for a quiet, classy appearance.  A great gift for a priest upon his ordination or anniversary. Comes complete with a matching stole and is available in four liturgical colors: …


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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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Hayes & Finch Shroud of Turin Chasuble Hayes & Finch Shroud of Turin Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11751
Price: $392.00
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This especially touching and inspirational vestment, bearing the image of Christ’s face found on the Shroud of Turin. Simple, yet truly stunning, this chasuble is ideal for the season of Lent. A rolled collar neckline and neatly bound hem edges complete this classy vestment. This chasuble is made in Dakion fabric, a flowing, light, comfortable to wear polyester that drapes in soft …


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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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