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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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 …


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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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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
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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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Hayes & Finch Chasuble with Augustine Panels Hayes & Finch Chasuble with Augustine Panels
Heritage Range Collection - Polywool

Item Number: 10159
Price: $1,172.00
Availability: Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This full cut, soft flowing, unlined chasuble in fine, poly wool, 55% polyester, 45% wool, detailed with yoke and front and back panels of Augustine fabric which is luxuriously woven with gold lurex threads. Vestment comes complete with a lined, trimmed; matching stole which is finished with heavy handmade tassels at either end.  This violet vestment would be an ideal and elegant vestment …


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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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Marian Chasuble with Rosary Design Marian Chasuble with Rosary Design  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11748
Price: $478.00
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This Stunning Marian vestment in Soft Cream base fabric with contrasting front and back center panels in blue, detailed with symbolic Marian embroidery designs on front and back, with additional Rosary embroidery on front. An elegant and inspirational vestment ideal for Marian celebrations. Comes complete with a plain stole. Available only in the cream and blue color combination pictured. Back …


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

Item Number: 9033
Price: $595.00
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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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Modern IHS Deacon Stole Hayes and Finch Modern IHS Deacon Stole

Item Number: 9903
Price: $170.00
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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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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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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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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