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

Item Number: 11764
Price: $392.00
Availability: Back Ordered. Ships within 4-6 Weeks

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

Item Number: 11758
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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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Traditional Cross and Grapes Chasuble Hayes and Finch Traditional Cross and Grapes Chasu

Item Number: 9853
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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.


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Loaves and Fish Chasuble Hayes and Finch Loaves and Fish Chasuble

Item Number: 9845
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Loaves and Fish design details the front and back of this soft flowing, full cut chasuble. A roll collar neckline and finely bound hem give the finishing touches to this classic vestment. Available in Red, Green, Violet and Cream.


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Travel Mass Kit Travel Mass Kit

Item Number: 11565
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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 Evesham Semi Gothic Chasuble Hayes & Finch Evesham Semi Gothic Chasuble
Traditional Range Collection

Item Number: 10147
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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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Cotton Surplice with Alpha Omega Lace Accent Cotton Surplice with Alpha Omega Lace Accent
Combed Cotton with Lace Accent

Item Number: 61597
Price: $198.50
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This priest surplice is stunning, tailored in combed cotton and accented with finely detailed 5" lace bands at the sleeves and bottom hem with the Alpha Omega symbol. Features a square neck. It is easy to care for, machine washable and permanent pressed. An incredible and inspiring vestment. Available in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. Surplice Size Chart …


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Hayes & Finch Alpha and Omega Violet Chasuble Hayes & Finch Alpha and Omega Violet Chasuble  Quick Ship is Available!
Canterbury Collection

Item Number: 11761
Price: $392.00
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This full-cut, flowing chasuble is a simple yet inspiring vestment, made of violet polyester fabric and adorned with an image of a silver cross and lilac Alpha and Omega symbol. The hemmed edges of the chasuble are narrowly bound in gold binding to enhance the hang of the garment.  Comes complete with a plain stole. Available only in violet, as pictured.


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

Item Number: 10159
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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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Hayes & Finch Fairford Chasuble with Wakefield Panels Hayes & Finch Fairford Chasuble with Wakefield Pan
Heritage Range Collection

Item Number: 10158
Price: $2,188.00
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This exquisite, traditional, cotton rich, Fairford brocade fabric (66% cotton, 34% viscose) forms the base of this stunning full cut, unlined chasuble. The vestment is complemented with front and back panelling of decadent Wakefield brocade, the edges of which are detailed with an antique gold trail braid. The chasuble comes complete with a lined, trimmed; matching stole which is finished with …


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