Tridentine Mass Implements and Vestments

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Ciborium is Latin for food container. The Ciborium holds the consecrated Hosts and is kept inside the Tabernacle on the Altar. 



The Paten is used by the priest to hold and carry the Hosts.  In ancient  times the paten held bread offerings from the lay faithful.  The Paten  must be gold or gold-plated and it must be shallow.  While it may be  engraved or otherwise ornate on the outside, it must be perfectly smooth  on the inside. 



The Chalice holds the wine consecrated at Mass. During the Roman  Empire, the Chalice was the “cup of the household” and was often made of  precious metal with inlaid gemstones.    

It must be consecrated, and may not be handled by anyone  other than the priest unless special permission is given by him to  religious or others qualified to tend to the Sacristy.  It must be made  either of gold, or of silver with a gold-plated interior.  The interior  must be smooth. 



These are the small bottles used to hold the unconsecrated water and wine. 



The oldest of the altar linens, it is the size of a large napkin and  is under the Chalice, Paten and Ciborium during Mass.  It is folded into  ninths, and carefully refolded from the corners inwards to prevent any  sacred species from falling.  It is usually adorned with a red cross. 



A small stiffened linen napkin used to keep foreign matter out of the Chalice. 



Small napkins used for wiping the Chalice and the Paten. 

Fiddlebacks / Chasubles.



The traditional vestments of the Catholic priest were first developed  during and towards the end of the Roman Empire some 1,500 years ago.   They have changed little over all those centuries, as a testament to the  steadfast unwavering of the great Church through the test of time.   Colors, materials and various decorations hold both historic and  spiritual significance.  

A Latin prayer is recited by the priest for  each vestment while being donned. 

Purple and or Violet:  symbolized sorrow and penance. Worn during Lent and  Advent, certain Passion Masses, the blessing of ashes, ember days and  other penitential occasions.    

Gold:  can replace red, green and white for added solemnity. Gold denotes majesty and splendour.    

Black: represents mourning and death.  Worn on Good Friday, and for Masses of the dead.   

Rose: is optionally used in place of purple only twice a year - Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) when we light the third candle of the Advent Wreath, and Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), when  Rose is symbolic of muted joy in the midst of a penitential season.  

Fiddlebacks / Chasubles.


White : Sometimes replaced by gold, white symbolizes purity,  innocence, rejoicing and light.  Employed during certain periods  throughout Christmas and Easter seasons.  Also worn on feasts of our  Lord, feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, non-Martyred saints, conversion  of Paul, saints John the Apostle and John the Baptist, among others.   It is word during certain ceremonies such as weddings, baptism and the  burial of children. White is also worn during the consecration of  churches, altars and bishops.  

Red: Red is symbolic of blood an fire, and is worn during feast  of His precious blood.  It is also representative of the Holy Ghost,  hence it is worn during the week of Pentecost. Red is also worn during  feasts of Martyrs, Evangelists and Apostles.    

Green: The colour of nature and life, denoting the hope of eternal  life. Worn from the 14th of January to Septuagesima Sunday and  following the first Sunday after Pentecost to the Saturday preceding  Advent. 



Alba means white in Latin. A long white linen garment symbolizing innocence and purity, covering the entire body.    

Vesting Prayer: “Make me white, O Lord, and cleanse my  heart; that being made white in the Blood of the Lamb I may deserve an  eternal reward.” 



A hood or hood-like cloth.  A rectangular piece of linen with an  embroidered cross , wrapped around neck, shoulders and breast. It is  representative of the garment of the fool that the Roman soldiers placed  over our Lord’s head as they blindfolded, mocked and struck Him.  Formerly used as a head covering to protect consecrated and priests from  the elements, it represents the helmet of salvation.  The amice must be  of linen or hempen material, not wool. The priest kisses the small  cross and touches it to his head before placing it over his neck and  shoulders.   


Vesting Prayer:  “Place, O Lord, on my head the helmet of salvation, so that I may resist the assaults of the devil.” 



The Stole was first adopted in the 4th century. It is a long thin  vestment worn around the neck and hanging down on both sides in front.  In antiquity it was worn by judges and clerics, and reminds us of the  priest’s apostolic authority and ability to forgive sins.    

Vesting Prayer:  “Restore to me, O Lord, the state of  immortality which I lost throught the sin of my first parents, and,  although unworthy to approach Thy Sacred Mysteries, may I deserve  nevertheless eternal joy.” 

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In antiquity, maniples were often worn by Roman magistrates at the  start of public events.  It is a long cloth draped over the left forearm  similar to a waiter’s napkin and pinned in place. Also called the  “sudarium” or “sweat cloth” because it was originally used to wipe  perspiration.  It is the same width as the stole. 

Vesting Prayer: “May I deserve, O Lord, to bear the  maniple of weeping and sorrow in order that I may joyfully reap the  reward of my labors.” 



The Cincture is tied around the waist over the alb to hold it (and  sometimes the stole) in place. Made of braided linen or wool, it  represents priestly chastity.

 Vesting Prayer: “Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of  purity, and quench in my heart the fire of concupiscence, that the  virtue of continence and chastity may abide in me.” 



“Chasuble” is derived from the Latin “casula” or “little house”  because it was used at times as a literal shelter by clergy.  Which  tells us how stiff and heavy it used to be.  Unlike modern chasubles,  traditional (vestment) chasubles are required to have a large cross  on  the back to signify the yoke of service to our Lord. In times past it  was very large, very heavy, and very ornamented, which is why you see  altar boys helping the priest to support it during Mass.    

Vesting Prayer:  “O Lord, who has said, ‘My yoke is sweet and my  burden light,’ grant that I may so carry it as to merit Thy grace.” 

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