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Vestmant Glossary

From St. Joseph's Daily Missal

The Burse: A flat, square container of cloth, the same color as the vestments, in which the corporal is carried to and from the altar. It is placed over the veil on top of the chalice.

The Chalice Veil: A cloth covering, of the same color as the Chasuble, that conceals the chalice and paten up to the Offertory, and after the Communion.

The Chasuble: The outer vestment put on over the others. Originally this was a very full garment, shaped like a bell and reaching almost to the feet all the way round. During a bad artistic period, the 18th and 19th centuries especially, the Chasuble suffered much from a process of shortening and stiffening. Today there is a return to the historical and beautiful, ample, nicely draping Chasubles. The Chasuble symbolizes the virtue of charity, and the yoke of unselfish service for the Lord, which the priest assumes at ordination.

The Dalmatic: An outer, sleeved tunic that came to Rome from Dalmatia , whence its name. It is worn in place of the Chasuble, by the deacon and subdeacon during Solemn Mass. It symbolizes the joy and happiness that are the fruit of dedication to God.

The Maniple: An ornamental vestment of colored silk or damask worn over the left forearm. Originally this vestment was a handkerchief carried in the left hand or thrown over the left arm. It symbolizes the labor and hardship the priest must expect in his ardent apostolate.

The Stole: Roman magistrates wore a long scarf when engaged in their official duties, just as our judges wear a court gown. Whenever a priest celebrates Mass or administers the Sacraments, he wears the Stole as a sign that he is occupied with an official priestly duty. When placing the Stole about his neck, in vesting for Mass, the priest begs God to give him on the last day the "garment of immortality" that was forfeited by our sinful first parents.


"whatever you do, whether in speech or in action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to the Father through Him" - Colossians 3:17

Catholic vestments include not only the chasuble "the modern cloak," but also a number of other pieces, a stole and a maniple. Originally, the stole was a large piece of linen cloth worn over the deacon's left shoulder. Used to purify the sacred vessels, it was later replaced by a smaller cloth called a purificator. Today, the stole serves only a symbolic function. The maniple (Roman style) originally served a similar purpose to the stole. It was used to cleanse sacred vessels, but it was also used to wipe the celebrant's eyes and mouth. It became an ornamental piece of the vestment in the 12th century.

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