Dictionary of terms

Vestment – clothes of the clergy (priesthood) and regular clergy, which is used during Divine Service and in everyday life. Everyday vestment of the clergy consists of anterion, cassock (for deacons and priests), and also anterion, cassock, mantle, klobuk, pectoral cross, panagia (for the bishop).

Divine service vestment of the clergy is used to commit Divine Services. Every clergy rank differs in its vestment, and there are: archiepiscopal vestment, priestal vestments, deaconal vestments, sexton vestments.

Mantle – is a long cloak without sleeves and with a fastener on the collar, which is vested over anterion and cassock. It may be used by the clergy or the regular clergy (archimandrites, ascetics). The monks usually wear black klobuks, at the same time metropolitans and patriarchs of some churches have a right to wear this headgear during solemn events.

Klobuk – is a monks headgear, which consists of kamelaukion and black textile (silk or crêpe), which is attached to it and is ended in the bottom with three long ends (the tassels). Klobuk completes monks vestment, which is worn during some solemn events.

Archiepiscopal:

Bishop puts on the same vestment as a priest to commit the Divine Service, only instead of the phaelonion he puts on the sakkos, then the omophorion over it and the epigonation as a symbol of spiritual sword.

Under sakkos or sticharion – is an under liturgical vestment of the bishop, and the epitrachelion is vested over it.

Liturgical cuffs are for drawing together the sleeves of the priests and integral part of archiepiscopal vestment, priestal and deaconal vestments. Using liturgical cuffs means that these are not simply human hands, but God himself commits Mysteries;

Epitrachelion – is an element of archiepiscopal and priestal vestment, which is obligatory for the religious rite. It is a long cross-belt, which surrounds the neck, meets on the chest and falls down. It symbolizes Divine Grace, that is why any Divine Service can be committed without the epitrachelion, and Holy Communion can not be administered.

Belt – is put on over sticharion and epitrachelion, symbolizes the Divine power and also the towel, which was on the belt of the Savior during washing the feet of disciples at the Last Supper;

Epigonation – is an element of liturgical clothes of the bishop and the priest awarded by him in the form of a kerchief on the hip, which is suspended on the belt;

Sakkos – is an upper liturgical vestment of the bishop, short vestment with wide sleeves, which is put on over under-sakkos and epitrachelion. It symbolizes the purple mantle of the Savior;

Omophorion – is a long and wide ribbon pall with embroidered crosses. It is put on the shoulders of the bishop, one end of it surrounds the neck and falls down in the front, the other one falls from the back. It symbolizes a good evangelic shepherd, the pastor of his flock. The bishop may not commit a religious rite without the omophorion;

Epigonation – is a four-cornered pall, which is worn over sakkos on the right hip. It symbolizes the spiritual sword of the priest to fight against disbelief and devilish forces;

Panagia – it is a pectoral image with a picture of the Virgin, which is an honor of the bishop;

Mitre – is a liturgical headgear of the bishop and some priests honored by the bishop. It is widen and rounded on top crown, decorated with icons. Bishops mitre is decorated with precious stones and symbolizes the crown of thorns, which was put on the head of the Savior during His passions.

Priestal:

The vestment of the priest consists of the following elements:

Inner rason, sticharion – is a liturgical vestment, which is made of delicate textile, with long narrow sleeves with laces on edges to tighten on hands. It symbolizes the chiton worn by the Savior during his terrestrial life;

Epitrachelion – is an element of archiepiscopal and priestal vestment, obligatory for the religious rite. It is a long cross-belt, which surrounds the neck, meets on the chest and falls down. It symbolizes Divine Grace, that is why any Divine Service can be committed without the epitrachelion, and Holy Communion can not be administered;

Belt – is put on over sticharion and epitrachelion, symbolizes the Divine power and also the towel, which was on the belt of the Savior during washing the feet of disciples at the Last Supper;

Liturgical cuffs are for drawing together the sleeves of the priests and integral part of archiepiscopal vestment, priestal and deaconal vestments. Using liturgical cuffs means that these are not simply human hands, but God himself commits Mysteries;

Phaelonion – is an upper liturgical vestment of the priest, a long loose mantle worn over the other clothes, without sleeves, with an opening for head and low neck for free actions of arms. It symbolizes the purple mantle, which was put on Christ during His terrestrial sufferings;

Pectoral cross – is a big tetrahedral cross representing the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which is worn over clothes by priests and hieromonachs. The pectoral cross reminds the priest that he is a servant of God who takes care of Christs flock. Besides ordinary silver priestal crosses, there are honoring gilded crosses and crosses with decoration.

Deaconal:

Deaconal vestment consists of dalmatic, orarion, liturgical cuffs and each of these elements has it symbolic:

Dalmatic – is a loose upper vestment of hard textile with loose sleeves and openings on the sides. It may be made in the shape of a cross, symbolizing sufferings of Christ, and also salvation and justice. The dalmatic can be also worn by subdeacon, laymen attendants, and psalmists;

Orarion – is a long wide ribbon with embroidered crosses. It is made of the same textile as dalmatic and is worn by the deacon on the left shoulder over dalmatic. It symbolizes the Divine Grace, which was given to the deacon with the Mystery of priesthood;

Liturgical cuffs are for drawing together the sleeves of the priests and integral part of archiepiscopal vestment, priestal and deaconal vestments. Using liturgical cuffs means that these are not simply human hands, but God himself commits Mysteries.

Sexton vestment:

Sexton vestment has its deep symbolic, which consist of dalmatic:

Dalmatic – is a loose upper vestment of hard textile with loose sleeves and openings on the sides. It may be made in the shape of a cross, symbolizing sufferings of Christ, and also salvation and justice. The dalmatic can be also worn by subdeacon, laymen attendants, and psalmists;

Inner rason, sticharion – is a liturgical vestment, which is made of delicate textile, with long tight sleeves with laces on edges to tighten on hands. It symbolizes the chiton worn by the Savior during his terrestrial life.

Nowadays they may be of different colors: white, red, yellow, green, blue. Depending on this, they are put under chasubles of the proper color, forming the complete of liturgical vestment.

Cassocks:

Cassock, everyday clothes of the clergy and regular clergy, is long loose clothes of black color with wide sleeves.

Anterions:

Anterion, everyday underclothes of the clergy, is long full-lengh clothes with narrow sleeves and tightly fastened collar. There are anterions of black, grey, green and cherry colors.

Ritual sets:

Ritual sets are used by the priests during their pastor activities (confession of the sick, weak laymen, administrating of Holy Communion, sanctifying premises etc). Ritual set consists of the liturgical cuffs and the epitrachelion:

Liturgical cuffs are for drawing together the sleeves of the priests and integral part of archiepiscopal vestment, priestal and deaconal vestments. Using liturgical cuffs means that these are not simply human hands, but God himself commits Mysteries;

Epitrachelion – is an element of archiepiscopal and priestal vestment, obligatory for the religious rite. It is a long cross-belt, which surrounds the neck, meets on the chest and falls down. It symbolizes Divine Grace, that is why any Divine Service can be committed without the epitrachelion, and Holy Communion can not be administered.

Shirts:

Priestly shirts differ from the ordinary shirts in the cut of collar, and also in special article – clerical collar, which is an obligatory attribute of vestments. The most common colors of priestly shirts are black and white, which are used more often.

Clerical collar – (from Latin word collum – neck) – is a special white collar, which has a form of white square under the chin, which is characteristic of priestly shirts of the Western clergy. Nowadays is made of plastic, which makes it comfortable to wear clerical collar inside the collar.

Holy banner:

It represents a cloth on staff with images of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God or the saints: Nicholas the Wonderworker, Vladimir the Great, Grand Princess St. Olga and others. Holy banners can be made of the same material as priestly chasubles, besides, could be embroidered with gold on brocade or velvet. Church banners are for religious processions to be carried at the front.

Mitres:

Mitre – is a liturgical headgear of the bishop and some priests honored by the bishop. It is widen and rounded on top crown, decorated with icons. Bishops mitre is decorated with precious stones with a cross, which tells bishops mitre from the priests one. Archimandrites have also a right to wear a mitre. This headgear symbolizes the crown of thorns put on the head of the Savior during His passions.