Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Catholic Priestly Vestments- Part VI

The chasuble, the special priestly vestment for the mass, was at first a long sleeveless mantle provided with an opening in the center to admit the head. It was originally worn in ancient times by people of the lower orders, but it gradually found entrance into other circles and so reached the monks and the clergy. The historical development of the alb raised this article, about the beginning of the Middle Ages, to the rank of an exclusively liturgical garment for the priesthood, after it had been used for a time in other than clerical circles. This dedication to liturgical purposes necessitated some modifications; for instance, the mantle was shortened, and it was provided with drawing-strings and slits at the sides.