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Tracing Clergy Robes History Through Vestments Used

By Joanne Dawson
Clergy robes history can be traced through different religious vestments that are utilized in earlier times up until today time. These religious vestments have been commonly utilized because the oldest times of every Christian denomination. It has actually been passed from one generation to another. There prevail vestments amongst these churches; however, there are some vestments that have been utilized just to 2 or three Christian churches.

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

One of 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 much shorter than those of the Anglican’s. Its sleeves could be large or moderately wide; therefore, it is open for the Anglicans and close for the Roman Catholic. Surplices are generally worn by choir members, altar servers, and clergies who are going to a Eucharist.

When clergy apparel history is checked, there are also vestments such as cope, rochet, zucchetto, and mitre. Cope is an ankle-length round cape which is typically seen for bishops and priests. They could have different colors that represent a specific Eucharistic task. Rochets are like surplices however they are extremely ornamented with laces and have narrower sleeves. They are thought about as canon and bishop vestments. Zucchetto is a skull-type of cap that is typically worn by the Pope, cardinals, and bishops. Its form is like the yarmulke of Jews. Mitre is the standard headgear of bishops and abbots of Roman Catholic, some Lutheran, and Anglican churches. It is a sharp cap with lappets on its 2 sides. Occasionally, mitres have ornaments made from beads and rhinestones.

An additional set of vestments discovered in clergy bathrobes history for the three churches are maniple, humeral veil, biretta, dalmatic and tunicle. Maniple is a liturgical handkerchief used just throughout the mass. It began to become usual on 1970 during post conciliar liturgical reform. Humeral veil is a long rectangular fabric that is being used by subdeacon while holding a paten. It is also utilized to cover the priest’s hands throughout the carrying of the monstrance. Biretta is a kind of square cap having 3 or four horns or peaks. In some cases there is a tuft that surmounts it. It is being worn by all clergies except for Pope. It likewise follows a color code that symbolizes a rank. Tunicle and dalmatic are practically the same, where in fact, they serve the same purpose as the outermost garment. However, tunicle is typically utilized for subdeacons and dalmatic is used by deacons. Another thing is, tunicle has a single horizontal band in both front and back while dalmatic has double band.

There are still extra vestments that can be traced in clergy robes history that are being utilized by clergies like the chasuble, amice, and cincture. Chasuble is an outermost garment that is used throughout the Eucharist celebration. Often, it is likewise embellished and embroidered. Amice is worn by deacon, subdeacon, and celebrant throughout the mass. It is use to conceal the collar of street or laid-back attire. Last but not least, is the cincture or what we call a girdle. It is a cord utilized to secure the hanging stole, at the same time, cinching the alb on the waistline.

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