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The distinctive dress worn by the clergy when performing the services of the Church. It originated in the ordinary clothes of the world of antiquity and developed into a specifically priestly costume between the 4th and 9th cents., largely because the laity abandoned the use of long tunics and cloaks. By the 10th cent. the main liturgical vestments and their use had been established in the W. From the 10th to the 13th cent. minor changes were made. The surplice was substituted for the alb on many occasions, the chasuble came to be almost reserved to the celebration of Mass, and the tunicle became the distinctive vestment of the subdeacon. Bishops also received additional vestments such as sandals, mitre, and gloves. The main vestments in the E. Church are similar to those of the W., though the tunicle, dalmatic, and some others are not represented, and there is no equivalent of the epigonation and epimanikion in the W. See also cope; Eucharistic vestments; and Ornaments Rubric.

Subjects: Christianity.

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