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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Square Collar Surplice Square Collar Surplice
Insertion Lace Accent

Item Number: 60075
Price: $149.90
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

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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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.


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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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.


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

Item Number: 24328
Price: $654.00
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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 & 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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Hayes & Finch Jerusalem Cross Chasuble Hayes & Finch Jerusalem Cross Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11764
Price: $392.00
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A traditional Jerusalem Cross is the design feature of this full cut chasuble with gold bound hem edges and neat collared neckline. A simple, yet very classy and refined vestment that would be a wonderful addition to the celebration of any reverent Mass. Would be an ideal gift for a new priest, or for a priest upon his anniversary or new assignment. Comes complete with a plain stole. Available …

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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 …


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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Traveling Vestment Case Traveling Vestment Case  Quick Ship is Available!
This item carries the Aquinas and More Good Faith Guarantee.
Item Number: 9023
Price: $99.00 $275.00 (64% discount)
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Transport your vestments and accessories safely and easily! This traveling vestment case will accommodate three vestments or albs with plenty of room for overlay stoles or other accessories. Large interior side pocket holds mass linens, Rites books and breviaries. Made from heavy duty woven nylon with a shoulder strap and an identification tag. Dimensions: 18" x 24" x 6 1/2" …


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

Item Number: 9033
Price: $595.00
Availability: Ships within 10-15 Business Days

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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