The Priest Prepares for Mass

The items of clothing worn by the Priest during Mass

In ancient times, ministers of the liturgy wore special garments in the celebration of liturgical rites.

They were fashioned near the end of the Roman era and have changed little over the centuries. This highlights the continuity of tradition within the Church.

The colours, materials and decorations used hold historical and spiritual significance.

As the Priest dresses himself, a prayer is recited for each vestment he puts on. The word ‘vestment’ is simply the Latin for ‘clothing’.

The video is an introduction to the vestments worn by Priests at Mass today.


The soutane is also known as a cassock. It is an ankle length robe and comes in a number of styles. It is most commonly black with buttons down the front. Historically is derives from the Roman tunic worn underneath the toga. In Australia, the soutane is little used except for religious ceremonies.


The amice is a white cloth with two long white ribbons attached. The ribbons are used to fasten the garment around the shoulders of the Priest.

Alb and Cincture

The alb is the long white robe worn by Priests and Deacons (The Latin for white is alba.) The alb may be fastened at the waist with a cincture, or belt, woven to look like a rope.


The stole – a long, narrow, scarf-like vestment – is a symbol of the priestly office. The Priest wears it around his neck whenever he is celebrating the Eucharist or any of the other sacraments. The Deacon wears his stole draped diagonally over one shoulder.


The chasuble is the outer garment worn specifically for the celebration of Mass and the colour of the chasuble indicates the liturgical season or feast. The word chasuble comes from the Latin word casula which means a little house. It was the outer garment worn by the Roman nobility. The chasuble is often beautifully decorated with Christian symbols. It is generally flowing in style.

For Reflection and Discussion


Visit the sacristy and ask to view the soutane, amice, alb, cincture, and chasuble.


Label the different items and learn the names.


Draw a picture of the Priest with all these garments on him.


Search on-line for information about the different items of clothing and write a short description of each.