Girdle, Ecclesiastical

Girdle, Ecclesiastical (ζώνη, balteus, or cinqulum), a cord of linen, silk, worsted, or other material, with tassels at the extremities, by which the alb is bound round the waist of him who assumes it. It is fastened on the left side. When putting it on, the cleric says the following prayer, or one equivalent to it in terns: "Praecinge me, Domine, zona justitiae, et constringe in me dilectionem Dei et proximi." This cincture is as old as the days of St. Gregory the Great; formerly ample in size, and broad, and often adorned with gold and gems. In the 6th century it was first reduced to its present narrow dimensions. It represented the cord with which our Lord was bound; and alludes to Lu 12:35; Eph 6:4; 1Pe 1:13.

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