Modern, unadorned alb. Modern, unadorned alb.

The alb (Latin albus, 'white') is an ecclesiastical vestment of some of the Western Churches, including the Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics. It is used by all levels of the Catholic clergy. It is generally worn over the cassock, and under the chasuble or dalmatic and is usually girdled with a cincture. It derives from the Roman-period, long-sleeved tunica alba, which in the Roman Empire was worn by the well-to-do. 

An alb is normally made of white linen, but other, and more precious fabrics are sometimes also used. Albs were often decorated with embroidered panels (the so-called apparels), which may be applied to the lower hem, the sleeve cuffs, or the neckline. In the past, the alb was sometimes also decorated with lace.

Shortened versions of the alb are the surplice (superpelliceum) and the rochet.

Source: BAILEY, Sarah (2013),  Clerical Vestments, Shire Library, Oxford, pp. 10-11.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 8 March 2017).


Last modified on Sunday, 12 March 2017 10:30
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