Word of the Day – Monday, April 8th



Word of the Day


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ALB (alb)

A long linen robe worn chiefly by priests
Common clues: Church robe; Priestly vestment; White vestment; Father's robe; Altar garb; Mass apparel; Item in a surplice store?; Clerical garment; Vatican vestment
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year
Frequency in English language: 65775 / 86800
Vestments of a Priest

The Alb -- Having put on the amice, the priest next vests in the alb (from Latin albus, white). The alb is a long tunic of white linen that reaches nearly to the ground, its sleeves fitting reasonably snugly over the sleeves of the cassock. It is frequently ornamented with lace or embroidery and often is pleated. The neck of the alb may either be closed (traditionally, with strings) or formed into a square yoke (very common in Rome) that is left open. Some modern albs are designed to cover the neck completely, in which case an amice becomes optional.

The alb represents the whiteness of soul and cleanliness of heart that characterizes the newly-baptized Christian (hence the use of a white garment in the baptismal rite) and the assembly of the just who have been whitened by washing in the Blood of the Lamb of God:

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, “What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” And I said unto him, “Sir, thou knowest.” And he said to me, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” -- Apocalypse 7:13-15.

As the priest puts on the alb, he says the following prayer:

Dealba me, Domine, et munda cor meum, ut in Sanguine Agni dealbatus gaudiis perfruar sempiternis. (Whiten me, O Lord, and cleanse my heart, that made white by the Blood of the Lamb I may enjoy eternal delights.)

[Source: Dappled Things – Jim Tucker]