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The Religious Vestments Before and Now

By Mattie Brown
Religious vestments have actually been widely used since the earliest times of every Christian denomination. They are some sort of a custom which has actually been passed from one generation to another. There are common vestments among these churches; however, there are some vestments that have been used only to two or three Christian churches.

Aside from the common vestments of churches such as the stole, cassock, alb, and pectoral cross, there are vestments which are common only to Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Lutherans.

Among them is the surplice. These are white tunic of linen or cotton fabric put over the cassock. They are shorter than cassocks. The length of Roman Catholic surplices is shorter than those of the Anglican’s. Its sleeves may be large or moderately wide; thus, it is open for the Anglicans and close for the Roman Catholic. Surplices are normally worn by choir members, altar servers, and clergies who are going to a Eucharist.

Following examples of religious vestments are cope, rochet, zucchetto, and mitre. Cope is an ankle-length round cape which is normally seen amongst bishops and priests. They may have various colors that represent a certain Eucharistic activity. Rochets are like surplices but they are highly ornamented with laces and have narrower sleeves. They are thought about as canon and bishops vestments. Zucchetto is a skull-type of cap that is generally worn by the Pope, cardinals, and bishops. Its type is like the yarmulke of Jews. Mitre is the traditional headgear of bishops and abbots of Roman Catholic, some Lutheran, and Anglican churches. It is a pointed cap with lappets on its 2 sides. Often, mitres have actually accessories made of beads and rhinestones.

An additional set of religious among the three churches are maniple, humeral veil, biretta, dalmatic and tunicle. Maniple is a liturgical scarf used only during the mass. It started to become typical on 1970 throughout post conciliar liturgical reform. Humeral veil is a long rectangular cloth that is being worn by subdeacon while holding a paten. It is also used to cover the priest’s hands during the carrying of the monstrance. Biretta is a sort of square cap having 3 or 4 horns or peaks. In some cases there is a tuft that surmounts it. It is being worn by all clergies except for Pope. It also follows a color code that represents a rank. Tunicle and dalmatic are virtually the exact same, where in fact, they serve the exact same purpose as the outermost garment. However, tunicle is generally used among subdeacons and dalmatic is used by deacons. Another thing is, tunicle has a solitary horizontal band in both front and back while dalmatic has double band.

There are still added religious vestments being used by clergies like the chasuble, amice, and cincture. Chasuble is an outermost garment that is worn during the Eucharist celebration. Sometimes, it is also decorated and embroidered. Amice is worn by deacon, subdeacon, and celebrant throughout the mass. It is use to conceal the collar of road or casual outfit. Finally, is the cincture or what we call a girdle. It is a cable used to secure the hanging stole, at the same time, cinching the alb on the waistline.

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