Since the earliest times, vestments have been worn by clergy in the performance of both the divine services and other functions of the clergy. Depending on their purpose and function, the vestment consists usually of very fine clothing which clergy wear in the course of their ministry. Some are reminiscent of the royal vesture of the kingdoms of history. Their primary purpose is for the spiritual edification of the Church.
Clerical ClothingEditClerical clothing is the non-liturgical clothing worn exclusively by clergy. It is distinct from ceremonial vestments in that it is not reserved specifically for services. Practices vary: clerical clothing is sometimes worn under vestments, and sometimes as the everyday clothing or street wear of a priest.
During smaller services such as a non-liturgical wedding or vespers the vestments that are worn are not as ornate as a liturgical celebration. It is preferred that these vestments be conservative in nature having only moderate decoration and generally have a base color of white though minor articles can be the appropriate color of the day. All non-liturgical celebration vestments can be white, but the colors of the day may be worn if available.
Liturgical VestmentsEditDuring services or religious ceremonies, adorned and lavishly decorated vestments are worn. The reason for this is to represent the excellence and ever divine majesty of the Light. Liturgical vestments remain to be used soley for the purpose of liturgical means. Both men and women clergy use the these vestments vestments, and base the color of their vestments on the purpose of the service. Vestment colors can also reflect a group that is being spoken to such as Blues and Purples for Draeni and Blues and Golds for the military.
There are two forms of clerical clothing used in the Holy See. Clergy may either wear the appropriate house cassock (black robe) for their rank or the order's official robe and tabard. A "cincture" or belt of a cassock is worn by higher ranking clergy. Purple represent high ranking clergy who are not bishops and red represents bishops. A white house cassock can be worn on formal occasions either with the proper cincture for the person's rank or a golden cincture. Those in attendance in a liturgical celebration but not participating as a concelebrant may wear a house cassock of either color. Black cassocks are worn with black shoes or sandals. White cassocks may be worn with either black or red shoes or sandals.
Liturgical and Celebratory VestmentsEdit
Liturgical and celebratory vestments follow the same basic structure. The only major differences is the dominant color of a celebratory vestment is always white and liturgical vestments are generally very ornate rather than the simplicity of a celebratory vestment.
Both liturgical and celebratory vestments consist of a primary vestment, stole (mantle), cincture (girdle) and cape. For celebratory vestments, the primary vestment is white. For liturgical vestments, the primary vestment is the proper color for the day. For both types of vestments, the remaining three aspects are all the proper color for the day or white.
High ranking clergy who are not bishops may also wear a pectoral cross in the shape of the seal of the Holy See around their neck signifying their office.
Bishops wear a pectoral seal in the shape of the symbol of the Light around their neck signifying their office as high priest of the Light. They also wear a ceremonial hat called a "mitre" and carry a staff called a "pastoral staff" or "crosier".
Proper Vestment Colors Edit
|Holy Days||White, Gold|
|Funerals||White, Gray, Black|
|Days of Penance||Purple, Blue|
|A Solemn Celebration||Red|