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On Their Uses: Albs and Vestments

Posted by Churchgoers on

The vestments worn by bishops and priests during a congregation have origins as to when and where have they been used first. There are a number of vestments one may see that a bishop or a priest wears during the celebration of the mass. One of the most common garments that the bishops and priests use is the alb. On that note, let us know the details on when these albs and vestments were first used.

Vestments are sacramental pieces of clothing that are set apart and are blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion to the people see and use them. The vestments serve as the uniform of the priest when he is exercising the functions of his ministry and when he is using the sacred powers he received during his ordination.

During the past centuries, vestments just signified simply clothing. However during these days, a vestment denotes the garments used by the people who conduct worship services in the performance of their sacred duties.

Vestments have originated from the ordinary street clothes of the first century. At present, vestments have been almost universally used although in some churches only the choir wears vestments. Some of the common vestments include albs, chasubles, robes and surplices. The vestments’ practical purpose when worn by ministers is for them to be reminded that the ministers are not acting on their own but are performing their official capacities when garbed in their vestments.

Albs and vestments have indeed originated differently. In the first four centuries of the Church, people used to be baptized in the nude. For propriety, people were baptized in three groups: men, women and children. During the ceremony, female deacons are the ones who baptized women. When the newly baptized emerged from the water, they were immediately clothed in a white tunic called the alb. With that given scenario, the alb served as a reminder of baptism and a symbol of the resurrection on the Last Day.

In Orthodox churches, the alb is called a sticharion. It is generally worn with a rope cincture around the waist. The alb is plain, lightweight, ankle-length tunic with long sleeves. The word alb is a short term for the Latin phrase tunica Alba which mean tunic. Commonly, albs are made of white, plain or un-dyed fabric.

These days, albs are becoming more popular liturgical vestments not only because they are ecumenical but also because congregations are increasingly eager to conform to the practices of the ancient Church. Anyone can wear an alb and cincture whether they are clergy or lay people as long as they have a leadership role in worship. In the case of the clergies, they wear a stole over the alb. Also, anyone who wears an alb is dressed like Jesus.

Indeed, one can conclude that albs and vestments have originated in different ways. What’s important is that both garments serve as pieces of clothing to symbolize religious rites. One may now want to find where these garments could be bought. In Churchgoers , there are a variety of church apparels one may search and that plenty of church apparels with first-class quality and designs are present on the online shop.


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