The word alb comes from the Latin alba, or white. The garment derives from the Roman tunica alba, a simple undergarment, with or without sleeves, usually girdled, that was the common garment of both sexes and all classes in first century Rome. Its white linen, sleeved version was the proper “shirt” of third and fourth century statesmen, and quickly became the clothing choice for clergy in the early church. The alb symbolizes holy simplicity and purity as reflected in several Bible verses, such as the dazzling white clothes of the transfigured Jesus (Luke 9:29) and the white robes of the saints in Revelation (7:13-14) Today, the alb is worn by ministers, lay and ordained, at the Eucharist, serving to conceal their street clothes and remind them of the sanctity of their work.
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This is where the bishop sits when he visits the parish. Actually, it is misnamed, since the only true “bishop’s chair” or “bishop’s throne” is permanently located in his cathedral. When the bishop is not present, this chair is used by the officiating priest.
The burse is a square envelope-like case that is placed on top of the veiled chalice on the altar for Holy Eucharist. It matches the chalice veil and holds extra purificators and the linen post-communion veil, which will cover any consecrated wafers and wine left over after Holy Communion.
The chasuble (CHAH-zuh-bel) is the principal vestment for the Holy Eucharist liturgy. The word Chasuble comes from the Latin casula, “little house” or “tent”, descriptive of its shape. It derived from the outer cloak that Romans wore for protection from the weather. Initially a garment of the lower classes, the cloak became the fashion among Roman citizens in the fourth century and replaced the toga; by the sixth century it was a symbol of prestige. Church leaders continued to wear it even when worldly fashions changed. At first, all clergy wore chasubles (probably white wool), but gradually the use became limited to the chief celebrant at the Eucharist. Oval in shape and sleeveless, the chasuble is worn by the celebrating priest over the alb and stole. The celebrant may put on the chasuble immediately before the Great Thanksgiving (during the offeratory) or may wear it throughout the service.
The chalice veil is a square covering of silk or brocade in the color of the day or season, matching the altar hangings and the priest’s vestments. It drapes over the chalice and paten for the Holy Eucharist and originated from the medieval practice of concealing the sacred vessels as they were carried to and from the altar.
The ciborium (sih-BOR-ee-um) is a tall covered vessel (similar in shape to the chalice) that holds the wafers for the Holy Eucharist. The use of the ciborium (and of the smaller “bread box”, which does not have a stem or pedestal) depends on local practice. Both are designed to hold wafers, and are too small to hold amy other kind of bread. Either may be used to bring the wafers to the altar in the offertory procession or to hold the reserved sacrament. Both are traditionally made of silver or gold, but they may be made of other materials, such as wood, glass, pewter, or earthenware. For a better look at the ciborium, check the glass-sided wooden box in the Narthen before the church service.
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Sunday Services of Holy Eucharist (Communion)
8:00am and 10:15 am (with organ, choir and soloist)
Second Sundays at 10:15am in the Church
Family Worship with a Children's Sermon and the Children's Choir
Holy Eucharist and Healing First and Third Thursdays
8:30am Meditation Chapel