puts on his:
Symbolizes: the Helmet
The amice is a rectangular piece of white linen with two strings at the
upper corners which a cleric uses underneath his alb to cover the neck so
that the Roman collar of the cassock is hidden. The word amice comes from
the Latin amicire, meaning "to cover" and, because the heads of
criminals condemned to death were covered in linen, the amice recalls the
humiliation which was put upon Christ.
As he puts on the amice, the priest kisses the Cross on the Amice and prays:
Place upon me, O Lord,
the helmet of salvation, that I may overcome the assaults of the devil.
Impone, Domine, capiti meo galeam salutis, ad expugnandos diabolicos
The alb is the long white, robe-like vestment worn by all clerics at
liturgical celebrations (celebrant, concelebrant, deacon, or acolyte). The
alb (from Latin word alba, meaning "white") can be traced to the
ancient Roman alb worn under a cloak or tunic; its color symbolizes purity
and its form recalls that described in Ezekiel 28:4.
As he puts on his alb, he prays:
Purify me, O Lord, and
cleanse my heart; that, being made white in the Blood of the Lamb, I may
come to eternal joy.
Dealba me, Domine, et munda cor meum; ut, in sanguine Agni dealbatus,
gaudiis perfruare sempiternis.
The cincture, a symbol of chastity, ties the alb at the waist.
As he ties the cincture, he prays:
Gird me, O Lord, with
the girdle of purity, and extinguish in me all evil desires, that the
virtue of chastity may abide in me.
Praecinge me, Domine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in lumbis meis
humorem libidinis; ut maneat in me virtus continentia et castitatis.
acceptance of suffering
The maniple is a narrow strip of linen, of the same color as the chasuble,
suspended from the left forearm so that if falls equally on both sides of
the arm. It is to remind the cleric that he must patiently bear the cares
and sorrows of this earthly life in the service of God and for Heavenly
As he puts on the maniple, he kisses the Cross on the maniple and prays:
Grant, O Lord, that I
may so bear the maniple of weeping and sorrow, that I may receive the
reward for my labors with rejoicing.
Merear, Domine, portare manipulum fletus et doloris; ut cum exsultatione
recipiam mercedem laboris.
In the Tridentine
liturgy, the bishop puts on the maniple at the Altar after the Confiteor;
other clerics put it on in the sacristy before the service.
Symbolizes: the clerical
office, immortality, and the Yoke of Christ
The stole, matching the liturgical color, is a long, scarf-like vestment
worn over the alb and under the dalmatic/chasuble. The priest wears the
stole around his neck so that it hangs equally down his chest in front or
forms an X-shaped Cross; the deacon wears his stole over the left shoulder
and tied at his right side; the Bishop wears his stole so that it hangs
equally down his chest.
As he puts on the stole, the priest kisses the Cross on the stole and prays:
Restore unto me, O
Lord, the stole of immortality, which was lost through the guilt of our
first parents: and, although I am unworthy to approach Your sacred
Mysteries, nevertheless grant unto me eternal joy.
Redde mihi, Domine, stolam immortalitatis, quam perdidi in praevaricatione
primi parentis: et, quamvis indignus accedo ad tuum sacrum mysterium,
merear tamen gaudium sempiternum.
Chasuble, Dalmatic, or Cope
Priest for the
Eucharistic Liturgy: Chasuble
Symbolizes: Charity and the Yoke of Christ
The chasuble, also matching the liturgical color, is is the long, often
ornate, sleeveless poncho-like garment worn by priests and bishops over the
alb and stole during the sacrifice of the Mass.
As he puts on the chasuble, he prays:
O Lord, Who said: My
yoke is easy and My burden light: grant that I may bear it well and follow
after You with thanksgiving. Amen.
Domine, qui dixisti: Iugum meam suave est et onus meum leve: fac, ut istud
portare sic valeam, quod consequar tuam gratiam. Amen.
Deacon for the
Eucharistic Liturgy: Dalmatic
Symbolizes: Charity, Justice, and the sufferings of Christ
Instead of a chasuble like a priest wears, the deacon wears the sleeved
dalmatic, also matching the liturgical color, over his alb and stole.
Bishops also wear a dalmatic at major solemn feasts and ordinations.
As he puts on the dalmatic, the deacon or bishop prays:
Lord, endow me with
the garment of salvation, the vestment of joy, and with the dalmatic of
justice ever encompass me.
Priest or Deacon for non-Eucharistic Liturgy: Cope
The cope is a large mantle worn by clerics at some liturgical celebrations
(but not at the Mass) -- for example, during Processions and Benedictions of
the Blessed Sacrament. It matches the color of the liturgy and is worn in
the same way as the chasuble or dalmatic.
The biretta is a
tri-cornered or square-shaped hat with silk trim, tuft (except for the
birette of seminarians and cardinals) and raised wings, called "horns," on
top. It is made of scarlet silk for cardinals, violet silk for bishops, and
black merlino for priests, deacons, and seminarians.
addition to the above,
the Bishop wears a:
pectoral cross is a cross, usually about 6 inches in height, worn around the
neck of a bishop and suspended by either cord (in liturgical vestments or
choir) or chain (in abito piano). The cord is scarlet and gold for a
cardinal; green and gold for a bishop. The pectoral cross is worn on the
chest of prelates so as to keep the Cross close to their hearts.
The crozier is the
shepherd's staff used by bishops. The crozier has always been in the Church
a symbol of the bishop's pastoral role. In the very early Church, it was
made of wood, but in the early Middle Ages metal (silver and gold, depending
on rank) was used instead. Wooden croziers again began to be used during the
time of Vatican II and are common today.
Popes don't use a crozier, and only since the time of Vatican II have they
used a crozier-like staff called the "pastoral staff." The pastoral staff is
silver with a crucifix at the top.
When a Bishop is
consecrated as Bishop, he receives a ring representing his office (Cardinals
receive their own special ring, also). The Pope's ring, known as the
"Fisherman's Ring," is the personal and unique seal of that reigning Pontiff
and is (or at least used to be) destroyed on his death.
The zucchetto is the
silk yarmulka-like skullcap worn by bishops. The Pope's zucchetto is white;
the cardinals' zucchetti are scarlet; the bishops' zucchetti are violet.
Priests may use a black cloth zucchetto for everyday wear, but not during
The mitre imitates the
Old Testament priestly headcovering and is the headdress of bishops, worn at
liturgical functions. It is either precious, golden (orphreyed), or simple
(simplex). The precious mitre is worn by celebrants, the simple by
concelebrants, and the golden by the celebrant at an ordination. All
cardinals wear a damasked mitre (simplex) in presence of the Pope. It is
very tall and made of layered white damask silk.
addition to the above,
a Metropolitan (Archbishop) wears a:
The pallium is worn only
by archbishops (in their own dioceses), patriarchs, and the Pope, as symbol
of their authority. It's a band of white wool adorned with 6 small black
crosses, worn around the neck with extensions front and back, and pinned to
the chasuble in three places about the neck. The non-silk part of the
pallium is made of white wool, part of which is supplied by two lambs
presented annually by the Lateran Canons Regular on the feast of St. Agnes
(21 January). The lambs are solemnly blessed on the high altar of that
church after the pontifical Mass, and then offered to the pope, who sends
palliums made of their wool to the archbishops.
addition to the above, the Pope wears a:
is a vestment , rarely used nowadays, reserved for the Pope during a
pontifical Mass. It consists of a double mozzetta (short shoulder-cape worn
by bishops outside the liturgy), the first going under the stole and the
second over the chasuble.