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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Travel Mass Kit Travel Mass Kit

Item Number: 11565
Price: $865.00
Availability: Back Ordered. Ships within 4-6 Weeks

  Case locks and measures 16 3/4" x 12 7/8" x 8 1/4" and can hold vestment in lid. Chalice 6" height - 12 oz Pyx capacity 60 Crucifix 4" Candles/holders 2 5/8" height Cruets with etched cross 4oz and 10 1/2" tray


Cream Coronation Chasuble with Cowl Collar Cream Coronation Chasuble with Cowl Collar

Item Number: 24273
Price: $525.00
Availability: On Order. Ships within 10-15 Business Days

This cream-colored chasuble features a Coronation tapestry orphrey with velvet piping and a burgundy velvet cowl collar. A truly elegant vestment, handcrafted in the U.S.A . from a wrinkle resistant fabric. Dry clean only. Available in standard or ample cut.

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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  …


Lily Humeral Veil Lily Humeral Veil

Item Number: 59299
Price: $325.00
Availability: On Order. 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 …


Economy Vestment Bag Economy Vestment Bag

Item Number: 96438
Price: $30.00
Availability: In Stock. Ships in 1-2 Business Day

Our extra-long vestment bag is perfect for carrying your vestments on a trip when you don't need a heavy-duty case.


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

Item Number: 9882
Price: $444.00
Availability: Back Ordered. Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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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Purple Tapestry of Life Dalmatic Purple Tapestry of Life Dalmatic

Item Number: 24288
Price: $595.00
Availability: On Order. Ships within 10-15 Business Days

This purple dalmatic features a Tapestry of Life™ 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 beautiful vestment is made in the U.S.A . from a wrinkle-resistant fabric, and features maroon velvet cuffs. It is available in other liturgical colors; please call for details. Standard …

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Red Trenton Fiddleback Chasuble Red Trenton Fiddleback Chasuble

Item Number: 10321
Price: $675.00
Availability: On Order. Ships within 10-15 Business Days

This vestment is a Roman fiddleback chasuble created from an elegant trenton fabric for the base with a flowery festive orphrey against a panel of rich red velvet. Gold galloon trim completes the eloquence of this traditional Roman style vestment. A truly stunning vestment and ideal for a reverent Mass. Length is 41in. Includes matching underlay stole.  Burse, veil, and maniple are …

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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
Availability: Back Ordered. Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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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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
Availability: On Order. Ships within 10-15 Business Days

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


Cross and Grapes Dalmatic Hayes and Finch Cross and Grapes Dalmatic

Item Number: 9891
Price: $440.00
Availability: Back Ordered. Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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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Modern IHS Dalmatic Hayes and Finch Modern IHS Dalmatic

Item Number: 9902
Price: $444.00
Availability: Back Ordered. 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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