From time immemorial ,Religion has effected clothing of its believers and leaders.Christianity is one of the most popular religion in the western world.Its followers are called Catholic Chistians,if they participate in all the sacraments,are obedient to discipline and government of the Church and have orthodox belief. This study is an attempt to make people aware of the political, religious and social heritage of clergy in form of vestments with particular reference to garments, ornaments, head dresses and foot wear. In the present study, data was collected by interview cum Questionnaire method. The sample was collected only from two diocese -Jalandhar and Shimla -Chandigarh almost covering whole Northern India.Data was analysed and coded.Findings of the study are that Vestments are basically of two types- liturgical and non liturgical. Clerical dress of Diocesian Priest and Bishop is Cassock and tunic. Bishop wears Alb, Stole, Cope, Pectoral cross, Mitre, Pastoral staff, Humeral veil , ring, sash, skull cap, chasuble, Black cassock with cape finished with scarlet piping, cincture etc depending on different occasion such as Mass ,Baptism, Confirmation,,Communion,Matrimony, Anointing, Liturgy of hours, Celebration of mysteries of the lord,Blessings and Funeral, while Priests wear Alb, cassock , Chasuble and stole. Six liturgical colours used for vestments are White, red, green, violet, black, rose and Gold which are used to give effective, outward expression to the specific character of the mysteries of the faith being celebrated to a sense of progress in the Christian life.To conclude,Liturgical Vestments express the nature of the occasion and to a certain extent define the respective role or rank of each participant.They add a symbolism and effectiveness in the communication pattern during worship reflecting concepts of majesty, mystery ,revelation ,incarnation ,sacrifice and communion.
Cite this article:
Prabhjot Kaur and Ruby Joseph. A Study of the Liturgical and Non-Liturgical Vestments worn by Catholic Christian Priests and Bishops. Research Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. 1(1): Jan.-March 2010, 30-36