Definitions

Episcopal vestments

Pontifical vestments

The pontifical vestments, also referred to as episcopal vestments or pontificals, are the liturgical vestments worn by bishops (and by concession some other prelates) in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and some Lutheran churches, in addition to the usual priestly vestments for the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments. The pontifical vestments are only worn when celebrating or presiding over liturgical functions and should not be confused with choir dress, which is worn when attending liturgical functions but not celebrating or presiding.

Western Christianity

The pontifical vestments usually include the:

and sometimes the

The following items, while not specifically vestments, are also reserved for pontifical functions:

Archbishops are also entitled to the use of the Patriarchal cross, also known as the archepiscopal cross. They may also wear the pallium after it has been granted to them by the Pope.

The following vestments are most often used within the celebration of the Tridentine or Extraordinary Form of the Solemn Pontifical Mass although their use is also permitted for the Ordinary Form of the Mass:

When celebrating Mass, the bishop wears the stole and chasuble as priests do, and may (but need not) wear the dalmatic beneath the chasuble, as a sign that he possesses the fullness of Holy Orders. Older liturgical forms included also the use of the subdeacon's tunicle with the dalmatic under the chasuble.

When presiding at Solemn Pontifical Mass but not celebrating (that is, when "attending" formally but leaving the actual celebration to another bishop or priest), the bishop may wear the cope. The cope may also used by the bishop at Solemn Pontifical Vespers and when celebrating the sacraments of baptism, marriage, and confirmation, as it may also be worn by priests for formal liturgical celebrations outside of Mass.

At any liturgical celebration, whether wearing chasuble or cope, the bishop may also wear a mitre, the pectoral cross (which should be worn under the chasuble), and the ring; and carry the crosier.

In Roman Catholic usage, certain clergy other than bishops, today most notably abbots, may also wear the pontifical vestments - the mitre, crosier and ring are bestowed on him at his blessing and the pectoral cross is a customary part of his liturgical garb and habit. There are certain limitations as to where and when he may wear pontificalia. The practice of granting other clergy special permission to wear such vestments as a mark of honor has almost disappeared.

Eastern Christianity

The pontifical vestments in Eastern Christianity are somewhat similar, although Greek terms are used instead of the mainly Latinate forms used in the West. There are also certain vestments which are unique to the Christian East.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, bishops use the following vestments (worn over the priestly sticharion, epimanikia and epitrachelion) and implements:

The distinctive vestment of a bishop is the omophorion. There are two types of omophoria, the "Great Omophorion" which is worn at certain moments during the Divine Liturgy and at the Great Doxology at the All-Night Vigil, and the "Little Omophorion" which is worn at other times (note that the sticharion is worn only at Liturgy, while the epimanikia and epitrachelion are always worn when vesting).

The Sakkos is normally only worn when the bishop is celebrating the Divine Liturgy, or during the Great Doxology at the All-Night Vigil. At other services, or when he is "presiding" but not serving at Liturgy, he will wear the Mantya, a cape with a long train and red and white ribbons ("rivers") running along the sides.

Whenever he blesses, the bishop stands on an orletz ("eagle rug"), and at certain times he blesses using dikirion and trikirion (a pair of candlesticks which have two candles and three candles, respectively) which symbolize the dogmas of the two natures of Christ and the Trinity.

Eastern bishops do not normally make use of an ecclesiastical ring; instead, the lower clergy and faithful kiss the bishop's right hand.

An Hegumen (abbot) is presented with his crozier by the bishop. He usually also wears a gold pectoral cross, and may be granted to right to wear the mitre. An Archpriest may also be granted a gold pectoral cross. Archimandrites and Protopresbyters wear jewelled pectoral crosses and mitres. The epigonation and/or nabrednnik may be worn by several of these members of the clergy, or may be granted on their own as marks of honor to priests. Also, pectoral crosses, and even mitres, may be bestowed upon other priestly clergy, as honorary awards.

See also

Search another word or see Episcopal vestmentson Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature