Being a religious person means going to church often. With that being said, you have surely questioned yourself about the meaning behind the various robes and vestments that the priests wear. The frequent changes in their clothes and all the different colors are not just for aesthetic reasons.
They resemble a connection with God, and they all have different meanings. The pope once said that the vestments were symbolic of speaking in the name of our Lord. When they put the vestments on, they remember their mission, and how thankful they are for sacrificing their private life to serve God.
With each piece of religious clothing, there is a different message. To show the significance of the church vestments, and what they resemble, we have made this article. The next time you see all the robe changes and color switches, you will know what they mean and you will understand your religion better.
The piece that covers the shoulders and the neck is called an amice. It is a relatively small squarish piece which sides are enriched with ribbons. It is worn in a way like a scarf, but it is way smaller and is being tied snugly with the ribbons.
It covers the neck and the top of the torso, and it resembles the protection that God gave us to defend us from evil. Practically, it is being used for warmness, and also sweat-absorbing features, especially in long events and liturgies. In the past, soldiers wore pieces like these under their protective headgear for comfort purposes.
When this item is being put on, there is a mandatory prayer. It asks for the help of our lord to provide safety from the hands of the devil.
The robe that you see all of the priests who work at the church wear is the alb. It is a long sleeve shirt that goes all the way to the feet area. Besides the priests, this clothing is being worn by everyone in the church, including the altar servants and other ministries.
This clothing piece resembles the clarity of the soul and heart. It is the most important piece during the baptism process, and it is instantly worn when the baptism finishes. There is a prayer that is being performed when this piece is being put on which is asking for clarity of heart and soul.
Another piece of Church Vestments is the rope that is being tied around the waist of the priest. The cincture is being worn on top of the alb and offers support around the waist area. There are two types of cinctures, the first one is a regular rope with wider ends, and the second one is more of a belt that is being tied around firmly.
You can notice how the colors of the cincture can change, and that is dependent on the occasion. Some holidays require a special color that has to be respected. When putting on the cincture, the person prays for a pure soul and heart so they can remain virtuous and wise, to prevent falling under temptations.
The stole is the item that is being worn only by the people who are high in the hierarchy, like the clergy for example. While it resembles the authority of the priests, it is an indicator of how powerful their title is. It is being used in every event held by the church, including masses and liturgies, but confessions and baptism as well.
It is a piece in a form of a scarf, with specific colors and patterns. Not only that it looks like a scarf, but it is being worn in a similar matter. It has to be above the alb and cincture, hanging from the neck to the waist or even under, depending on how long it is. While having this piece on, the priest tells a prayer looking for closure with God, while restoring immortality and being able to live through great joy.
If you head over to Watts and Co you can notice that the stole can take many different color combinations.
The robe that goes on top of all the previous Church Vestments is the chasuble. As the last layer of clothing, it has to be colored in a way that suits the situation the best. That is why there are different color robes that the priests choose to match the day right.
The meaning behind this part of the clothing is resembling the charity and the grace of God. Generosity is a big part of this religion, and it teaches its believers that this quality is essential for their happiness and everyone around them. In other words, what you give, comes back to you doubled, so make sure it’s good.
When putting on this piece, the priest prays while saying that everything is easy for him, even the biggest burdens, and asks God to wear the chasuble to deserve charity and grace.
What do colors symbolize
As you have noticed, there are various colors of the pieces that the churchmen wear. While some colors are being usually worn, the others are meant only for special occasions.
The green color predominates the regular days when liturgies are being held. That is why you usually see the churchmen wearing green. The meaning behind this color is hope, as the key characteristic of this religion.
During the feasts of the apostles and all the martyrs, the color red is usually being worn. It resembles the blood that has been shed in the name of God, and the charity with its fire.
When the feasts for the saints who were not martyred, and the feast for Jesus and Mary, the color that predominates is the golden one. It resembles the things that everyone wants to achieve in their lives, and that is joy, innocence, and glory. Sometimes the white color can be used in such events, and it resembles the clarity of the heart and soul.
The purple color can be seen during the Christmas and Easter liturgies, and certain other masses as well. It shows the humility of the religion, as a big part of Christianity.
Lastly, the pink color is only being worn during the third Sunday of preparation for the birth of Jesus, and the fourth Sunday of preparation for Easter. Its significances are the joy and the love that we all must share.