Wondering about the colorful garments worn by priests and clergies of various churches like the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Protestant? It is called a chasuble alb. What are the differences between them?
The term “alb” derived from the Latin word albus which means white. Thus, it is the white garment being worn by priests and clergies. It is ankle-length clothing which is usually secured by a cincture. It has been used by the Romans and even in Medieval European secular clergies. The alb is said to be one of the oldest liturgical vestments. It is usually seen worn at the Mass by ministers, clerics, and laypersons. It may be under the stole, dalmatic, or chasuble. That is why a combination of it is called a chasuble alb. It may also be found over the cassock- an ankle-length garment with thirty plus buttons. The alb could be worn with apparels in Anglican churches. The alb is just an undergarment of vestments in high Anglican parishes. For broad churches of Anglicans, the alb is considered a day-to-day wardrobe.
On the other hand, the word chasuble came from “poncho” which is called “casula” in Latin which means “little house”. It is an oval-shaped cloth with a hole in the middle where the head will pass through. It is a knee-length garment that which flows at all sides. This garment is folded up on its sides. Strings could be used to make it possible to fold. It’s a commonly used outer garment during the late Roman Empire. The clergy wear beautiful chasubles during the Eucharist celebrated in Western Christian Parishes. It has also been noticed during the start of the thirteenth century the little shortening of chasuble’s sides. On fifteenth century until the present time, the style of the chasuble does not anymore reach the ankle, and it is only until the wrist in which it doesn’t need to be folded anymore.
Now, the chasuble alb is a modern type of white-colored vestment. Even without an approval, it was still adopted in France, specifically in the Roman Catholic Church. Its usage was just officially approved in some countries such as Hawaii and Philippines. Hence, it is not worn if the stole is being used.
There are some online shops who sell chasuble alb in a reasonable price. One can buy it for at least 120 dollars. Some of them have a stole included. There are also beautiful chasubles with reversible stole available in shops. Its price is a little bit expensive but it would compensate its usage. Just choose a good fabric that would make one feel comfortable. Be sure to fit it on the climate of the church’s location. Normally, lighter materials are used in tropical areas and heavier materials in the colder areas. However, the style is the same, it’s only the design of embroideries differ.
This chasuble alb is respected garments of both Western and Eastern Christianity. It’s very nice to see the clergies and priests wearing them during masses, as well as, in different Eucharistic activities the churches have.