Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the Gr. Ch., one of the episcopal vestments, consisting of a piece of brocade or some other stiff material shaped like a rhomb or lozenge, and worn on the right side at or below the knee, hanging by one of its angles from the zone or girdle. The other three angles have tassels attached to them, and it is embroidered with a cross or other ornamentation. As late as the eighth century, and in some places as late as the eleventh, a handkerchief or napkin (the encheirion, which see) was worn in a similar manner, as it still is in the Armenian Church, and the epigonation is probably a more modern form of this. Accordingly, some writers connect this vestment with the towel (
λέντιον) with which Christ girded himself before washing the disciples' feet. John xiii. 5.
“A peculiar episcopal ornament is the _epigonation_.”
“He has the right to wear a pectoral cross, the epigonation in the celebration of Mass, and to sign the cross before his name after the manner of bishops.”
“In the Greek Rite the vestment that corresponds to the maniple is the epigonation.”
“The epigonation does not belong to all the clergy but only to the bishop.”
“The new pontifical vestments were: the sakkos, still a patriarchal vestment; the epimanikien; the epigonation, in so far as this vestment had not already been introduced before the ninth century; the epigonation first had the form of a handkerchief and was called enchirion (hand-cloth, handkerchief), it was not named epigonation until the twelfth century.”
“Pontifical vestments are the liturgical head-covering, excepting in the Armenian Rite where the priest also wears such a covering for the head, the sakkos, the omophorion, the epigonation, and the epimanikia.”
“From the girdle the epigonation, a diamond-shaped piece of stuff, stiffened with cardboard, hangs down to the right knee.”
“If he is a dignitary he wears the epigonation and (in Russia) the mitre also.”
“Byzantine mitre and epigonation, but not the omophorion or sakkos.”
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