Catholic Vestments

Just as any clothing manifests the person who wears it, so likewise does the church in the liturgy disclose its inner mystery through the wearing of special vestments consisting of chasubles, albs, dalmatics, pallium, stole, maniple, amice, mitre, surplice and cassocks. The words liturgical vestments identify the complete set of clothing worn by clergy when celebrating the eucharist. The Chasuble or cope is the outer liturgical garment worn today by both bishops and priests. When first used, the word stole, in connection with liturgy, signified in general that shawl-like garment shaped like the wrap which older Roman women typically wore around their shulders. Dalmatics are worn by deacons as their outer garment during the celebration of the eucharist. The deacon stole worn by deacons derives its name from the ancient Roman orarium, a long towel for the hands and mouth carried or draped over the left shoulder. The church later, during the sixth century, associated the stole with deacons who wore it like a waiter's towel in preparing gifts for the liturgy. The dalmatic was introduced late in the second century as a replacement versiosn of the tunic from Dalmatia. Dalmatics were worn by civillian magistrates until many bishops started wearing fine dalmatics. In the fourth century Pope Sylvester began the practice of conferring dalmatics on papal deacons as well.

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