American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Ecclesiastical A long white linen robe with tapered sleeves worn by a priest at Mass.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the Roman Catholic Church (and in many Anglican churches), a white linen robe, with tight sleeves, worn at the celebration of the eucharist under the chasuble, cope, or dalmatic by the officiating priest and his assistants. It reaches to the feet, and is bound around the waist by a girdle called the alb-cord. Usually it is ornamented at the edges and wrists with embroidery or lace-work. The alb was formerly the common dress of the clergy. Colored albs have been used in the service of the English Church. The corresponding garment in the Greek Church is the stoicharion (which see).
- n. In the early church, a white garment worn from the Saturday before Easter until the first Sunday after Easter by the newly baptized.
- n. Formerly also written alba, albe.
- n. A small Turkish coin, nearly equal in value to a cent.
- n. A long white robe worn by priests and other ministers at religious ceremonies, underneath most of the other vestments.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A vestment of white linen, reaching to the feet, an enveloping the person; -- in the Roman Catholic church, worn by those in holy orders when officiating at mass. It was formerly worn, at least by clerics, in daily life.
- n. a white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves; worn by priests
- Middle English albe, from Old English, from Medieval Latin alba, from Latin albus ("white"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English albe, from Old English, from Medieval Latin alba, from (vestis) alba, white (garment), feminine of Latin albus, white. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Another use of the word alb, commonly in the plural albæ (vestes), occurs in medieval writers.”
“As regards the vestments themselves: the amice signifies preparation to resist the attacks of the devil; the alb is the symbol of innocence; the cincture of charity; the maniple of penance; the stole of immortality; and the chasuble of love, by which we are enabled to bear the light burden Our Lord is pleased to lay upon us.”
“Until the middle of the twelfth century the alb was the vestment which all clerics wore when exercising their functions, and Rupert of”
“The celebrant is first vested with the shapik or alb, which is usually narrower than the Latin form, and usually of linen (sometimes of silk).”
“So the linen church vestment called an alb, which is derived from the Roman linen tunic, doesn't have to be snowy white.”
“A chasuble is worn over the alb, which is a long, white linen robe.”
“A dozen worshippers surround the altar on a rainy Thursday evening as The Reverend William Rich—an elaborate purple chasuble over his white alb—administers the 6:00 P.M. Holy Eucharist.”
“At the beginning of the rite, the three major ministers wear amice, alb, and cincture; the priest and deacon also wear black stoles, but none of the three wears either a chasuble of any sort, nor a dalmatic or tunicle.”
“In addition to the amice, alb, cincture and stole, the priest wears a black chasuble; the deacon wears a black stole, and, like the subdeacon, a black folded chasuble, the sacred vestments of penitential Masses.”
“This includes altar frontals, mitres, ombrellini, chasubles, copes, and a gold embroidered alb of Pius IX.”
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