Eucharistic Vestments

Eucharistic Vestments
   The special vestments worn in celebrating the Holy Eucharist to mark the dignity of the service and as symbolical of the Passion of our Lord which is therein commemorated. They are as follows: the Amice, Alb, Girdle, Stole, Maniple and Chasuble worn by the celebrant, and the Dalmatic and Tunicle, worn by the Deacon and sub-Deacon; each of which is described under the heading, Vestments (which see). From ancient sources we learn that it was the universal custom of the Church to wear distinctive vestments at the celebration of the Holy Communion to mark it as the only service ordained by Christ Himself, and also as the highest act of Christian Worship. This is evidenced by the fact that the seven historical churches which have possessed a continuous life since the Nicene era, viz.: the Latin, Greek, Syrian, Coptic, Armenian, Nestorian and the Georgian -- all use the Eucharistic Vestments. When we consider that these historic churches have not been in communion with one another for over a thousand years, we cannot but conclude that any point on which they are agreed must go back to the middle of the Fifth Century and must be part of their united traditions from a still earlier date. From the fact that these historic churches, having no communion with one another, do agree in the use of distinctive vestments for the Holy Eucharist, we learn that their use is not, as is sometimes supposed, an imitation of Rome but is a Catholic and Primitive custom. The Eucharistic Vestments are now used in more than two thousand churches in England and America, thus showing how they recognize and are reasserting their Catholic heritage.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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