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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Smooth Poplin Polyester Alb Smooth Poplin Polyester Alb

Item Number: 61580
Price: $127.50
Availability: Ships within 8-11 Business Days

This alb is made of a smooth, silky feeling poplin polyester. A simple and basic, yet high quality, vestment suitable for any occasion. It is available with your choice of velcro or button closure. Please refer to chart for sizing information. Also available in ample cut sizes. Please select your preference in the drop down menu when ordering. Men's Alb Size Chart: Size …


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Hayes & Finch Burse and Veil Winchester Set Hayes & Finch Burse and Veil Winchester Set
Traditional Range Collection

Item Number: 10316
Price: $390.98
Availability: Back Ordered. Ships within 4-6 Weeks

This burse and veil set is exquisitely created from classic Winchester brocade and accented with beautiful complementing orphrey. The elegant pattern and detail makes this burse and veil set an ideal addition to any reverent Mass. These truly stunning vestment accessories are designed to complement the Hayes and Finch Winchester chasuble and dalmatic .   The Traditional Range brings …


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Travel Mass Kit Travel Mass Kit

Item Number: 11565
Price: $865.00
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  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


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Hayes & Finch Lurex Laced Chasuble Hayes & Finch Lurex Laced Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11752
Price: $262.50
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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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Hayes & Finch Jerusalem Cross Chasuble Hayes & Finch Jerusalem Cross Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11764
Price: $348.83
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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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Poly/Wool Alb With Cross Lace Accent Poly/Wool Alb With Cross Lace Accent

Item Number: 61586
Price: $280.50
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An elegant and superior vestment, this 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. Available with your choice of velcro or button closure. Please refer to chart for sizing information. Ample cut …


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Poly/Wool Silver Embroidered Alb Poly/Wool Silver Embroidered Alb

Item Number: 61582
Price: $224.00
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A truly unique and refined alb, this vestment is accented with a one inch accent band of a non-tarnishing silver embroidered pattern. The alb fabric is an easy to care for tropical poly/wool blend. Comes with your choice of button or velcro closures. Please refer to chart below for sizing information. Ample cut sizes also available. Please select your preference in the drop down menu when …


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IHS Scroll Chasuble IHS Scroll Chasuble

Item Number: 24298
Price: $348.83
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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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Hayes & Finch Evesham Semi Gothic Chasuble Hayes & Finch Evesham Semi Gothic Chasuble
Traditional Range Collection

Item Number: 10147
Price: $1,165.50
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This Semi-Gothic chasuble 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. It comes with a complimenting trimmed stole. A classic, stunning vestment ideal for any reverent Mass. Front length: 43in. Back length: 46in. Width: 51in. Also available is the …


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Hayes & Finch Square Cross Chasuble Hayes & Finch Square Cross Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11758
Price: $232.17
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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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Polyester Alb With Gold Cross Embroidery Polyester Alb With Gold Cross Embroidery

Item Number: 61589
Price: $276.00
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This alb is made of a medium weight polyester.  It has a metallic gold cross embroidery on the sleeves and bottom. a subtle, yet truly classy and refined vestment. This alb is a quality garment and features these amazing details: Five deep set pleats front and back that will not push out, assuring proper appearance at all times. A long 28" zipper concealed under one of the pleats …


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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: $465.50
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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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