Alb Stole and Biretta Latin Rite Catholic Stock Photo SD Cason Catholic Gallery 1


The Stole, which is a long, narrow strip of cloth draped around the neck, is a vestment of distinction, and a symbol of ordination. Deacons wear it draped across the left shoulder diagonally across the body to the right hip while priests and bishops wear it draped around the back of the neck. It may be crossed in the front and secured with the cincture. Traditionally, this was done by priests when wearing Eucharistic vestments, whereas bishops always wore it uncrossed (as possessing the fullness of the priesthood). In modern usage, it is common for both bishops and priests to wear the stole uncrossed.

The Alb is the common garment of any ministers at the eucharist, worn over a cassock. The alb most closely corresponds to the Orthodox sticharion and it symbolizes baptismal garment.

The Biretta is a rectangular cap that may be worn by clergy of all ranks except the Pope; its color can signify rank.

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