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Joseph Massey
Joseph Massey


In the early Christian churches, officers and leaders, like their congregations, wore the normal dress of civil life in the Greco-Roman world, although with an expectation that the clothing should be clean and pure during holy observances. From the 4th century onward, however, modifications began to be made to the form of the garments, and as secular fashions changed from the 6th century the church retained the original forms of their garments, although with separate development and with regional variations. Having separate, consecrated clothing for the ceremonies and rites in the churches emphasized the sacred nature of the functions the priest and ministers carried out at the altar. The Catholic Church's vestments had essentially established their final forms by the 13th century.[1]


The Reformation brought about a new approach towards simplicity, especially under the influence of Calvinism. The Church of England experienced its own controversies over the proper use of vestments.[1] The resulting varieties of liturgical dress are described below.

The rubrics (regulations) for the type of vestments to be worn vary between the various communions and denominations. In some, clergy are directed to wear special clerical clothing in public at all, most, or some times. This generally consists of a clerical collar, clergy shirt, and (on certain occasions) a cassock. In the case of members of religious orders, non-liturgical wear includes a religious habit. This ordinary wear does not constitute liturgical vestment, but simply acts as a means of identifying the wearer as a member of the clergy or a religious order.

A distinction is often made between the type of vestment worn for Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion and that worn for other services. Non-Eucharistic vestments are typically referred to as "choir dress" or "choir habit" in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican churches, because they are worn for the chanting of the Daily Office, which, in the West, takes place in the choir rather than the sanctuary. In other traditions, there is no specific name for this attire, although it often takes the form of a Geneva gown worn with or without preaching bands and a stole or preaching scarf.

For the Eucharist, each vestment symbolizes a spiritual dimension of the priesthood, with roots in the very origins of the Church. In some measure these vestments harken to the Roman roots of the Western Church.

Use of the following vestments varies. Some are used by all Western Christians in liturgical traditions. Many are used only in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and there is much variation within each of those churches.

Among the Paleo-Orthodoxy and Emerging Church movements in Protestant and evangelical churches, which includes many Methodists and Presbyterians, clergy are moving away from the traditional black Geneva gown and reclaiming not only the more ancient Eucharist vestments of alb and chasuble, but also cassock and surplice (typically a full length Old English style surplice which resembles the Celtic alb, an ungirdled liturgical tunic of the old Gallican Rite).

In the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, any member of the clergy of whatever rank is vested when serving his particular function during the Divine Liturgy or other service. As in the Latin Church, the use of vestments is rooted in the early history of the church. The various vestments serve several different functions. The three forms of stole (Orarion, Epitrachelion, and Omophorion) are marks of rank. The three outer garments (Sticharion, Phelonion, and Sakkos) serve to distinguish the clergy from the laity. Some are practical (Zone and Epimanikia), holding the other vestments in place. Some (Nabedrennik and Epigonation) are awards of distinction.

Obligatory vestments for presbyters are: Sticharion, Epitrachelion, Epimanikia, Zone, and Phelonion. Awards are: Nabedrennik, Kalimavkion, Pectoral cross, Epigonation, Pectoral cross with decorations, Mitre, second Pectoral cross with decorations, and Patriarchal Pectoral cross.

In addition to these functions, most vestments carry a symbolic meaning as well. These symbolic meanings are often indicated by the prayer that the priest says as he puts each item on. These prayers are verses taken directly from the Old Testament, usually the Psalms. For example, the prayer for the Sticharion is from Isaiah 61:10:

Despite their often elaborate design, the vestments are generally intended to focus attention on God, and the office of the person wearing them, rather than on the person himself. It is partly for this reason that a Russian phelonion is designed with a very high back, so that when the priest is standing facing the altar his head is almost completely hidden. Other items, such as the epimanikia or cuffs, represent manacles or chains, reminding the wearer and others that their office is a position of service.

In these Churches, generally only a white robe will be used for the Eucharistic service. On more solemn occasions, an epitrachelion-like vestment is worn, and sometimes a vestment resembling a cope is worn. Priests and bishops always carry a Hand Cross during services. Deacons wear either an orarion crossed over the left shoulder, or brought around the back (where the two pieces form a cross) and then hanging down in front (not crossed), secured by the cross piece.

In these Churches, a more full set of vestments is used. Apart from the usual Sticharion (called Kutino in Syriac), Epitrachelion (called Hamnikho), Zone (called Zenoro), and Epimanikia (called Zende), a priest will wear a Cope-like vestment called a Phanyo. Prelates will in addition wear a hood-like head-covering called a Masnaphto over the Kutino and under the Phanyo. Prelates will also wear a Batrashil or Pallium (similar to an Epitrachelion but reaching down in both front and back) as well as Pectoral Icons. In addition, they will have a vestment similar to the Epigonation worn attached the Zenoro on the right side (called a Sakro) and will carry a crosier and hand cross. Deacons wear the Kutino and an Orarion (called an Uroro) in different ways depending on their order:

Ecclesiastical Sewing has the largest selection of church vestments sewing patterns. Our patterns have been created by our professional pattern makers. A truly excellent finished garment begins with an excellent pattern. The very same patterns that are used daily in our studio to create our lovely church vestments are available for your own personal use.

At Ecclesiastical Sewing, we want to come alongside those who desire to sew liturgical vestments for their clergy, and items for their churches and sanctuaries. Our books and patterns provide the details you need for crafting your clergy stoles, priest chasubles, custom stoles, and many more fabric items. You will enjoy browsing vestment patterns, priest stole patterns and other creative varieties. We also allow you to choose the colors to design and create your own custom stoles, chasubles, copes, hoods, or paraments.Skip to Collection

With proper care, these stunning clerical garments have an unmatched longevity. For information on how to care for, clean and store your vestments to keep them in optimal condition of many liturgical calendars, visit our vestment care page.

The masterful artisans at Gaspard have been handcrafting vestments and paraments for churches all over the globe since 1954. Experience the Gaspard difference with our exquisite craftsmanship and top of the line liturgical fabrics.

The Roman Chasuble has a round opening in the middle and has cut on the sides that the arms were entirely exposed, leaving only a garment hanging over the shoulders in front and back. This liturgical vestment is worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist.

Magic vestment,[1] and an older version called magical vestment,[11][12] were transmutation or enchantment spells respectively, that improved the armor value of clothing, a shield, or a suit of armor.[1][11][12]

Though similar in effect, the two versions of this spell were different in practice. The transmutation version could be cast on anyone's clothing, armor, or a shield as long as the caster could touch the targeted vestment.[1] The enchantment version only worked on the caster. The transmutation version lasted for hours[1] while the enchantment version lasted for only 25 to 100 minutes or so.[11][12] However, the improvement in armor was better in most cases for the enchantment version.[11][12]

Starting with plain clothes or robes, the enchantment version immediately granted protection equivalent to chain mail and increased up to field plate armor as the level of the caster increased.[11][12] For the transmutation version, the lowest level improvement was equivalent to donning padded armor and increased up to chain mail as the level of the caster increased.[1] However, the enchantment version was not cumulative with existing armor, so magical vestment was only worth casting if the result was better than what the caster was already wearing,[11][12] whereas magic vestment improved any existing armor or shield.[1]

Unlike most high-level armours, the vestments of havoc do not degrade. The robe top and bottom can both be augmented, however they will drain divine charges from the charge pack at the rate of tier 95 armour pieces when used. 041b061a72


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