Alb, Alba

Alb, Alba

a long white tunic in the Church of Rome, worn by all ecclesiastics during service, and answering to the surplice in the Church of England, excepting that the all) is narrower in the sleeves, and fits the body more closely, being often gathered at the waist by a girdle. The ornaments at the bottom and wrists are called apparels, and it is also sometimes embroidered with a cross upon the breast. SEE VESTMENT.

It was an ancient custom to clothe the newly-baptized in albis, in white garments. These garments were delivered to them, with a solemn charge to keep their robes of innocence unspotted until the day of Christ. This dress was worn from Easter-eve until the Sunday after Easter, which was called Dominica in albis; that is, the Sunday in white, whence the name Whitsunday. The garment was usually made of white linen, but occasionally of more costly materials. — Bingham, Orig. Eccl. lib. 13, cap. 8, § 2.

 
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