Surplice

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The '''surplice''' is a liturgical vestment used by the the [[Church of Rome|Roman Catholic Church]], Lutheran churches of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and in the Anglican Communion.  The Orthodox Church does not use a surplice or any analogous garment.
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[[Image:Death of St Bede.jpg|thumb|270px|''The Death of St. [[Bede]]'', the monastic clergy are wearing (long) surplices over their [[cowl]]s]]
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The '''surplice''' (Late Latin ''superpelliceum'', from ''super'', "over"  and ''pellis'', "fur") is a non-liturgical [[vestment]] used by in traditional Western worship. The surplice has the form of a tunic of white linen or cotton material. It continues in use by various Christian communions of the West (particularly the [[Roman Catholic Church]]), as well as in the Orthodox Church's [[Western Rite]].
  
The surplice has the form of a tunic of white linen or cotton material, with wide or moderately wide sleeves, reaching —  according to the Roman use —  barely to the hips and elsewhere in the Church of Rome to the knee. It usually features lace decoration, but in modern times —  in Germany at least —  it may also have embroidered borders.
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==History==
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It was originally a long garment with open sleeves reaching nearly to the ground, as it remains in the Anglican and other English traditions. In the Roman Catholic tradition after the [[schism]] and after the Middle Ages , it became shorter (barely to the hips), had closed sleeves, square shoulders and often features lace decoration. Sometimes the Roman Catholic-style surplice is referred to with the Medieval Latin term ''cotta'' [meaning 'cut-off' in Italian], as it is derived from the cut-off alb.  
  
The surplice descended from the Greek alb, which it replaced in the North before Rome's schism from Orthodoxy. Eventually it was adopted elsewhere in the West. In recent years, the alb has been introduced in the West.
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The surplice descended from the Greek alb, which it replaced in the North before Rome's schism from Orthodoxy.
  
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==Ornamentation==
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The surplice apparently seldom received rich ornamentation. In pictures and sculpture from the Middle Ages it appears as a garment hanging in many folds, but otherwise plain throughout. There is a surplice at Neustift near Brixen in the Tyrol that dates back to the twelfth (or, at least, to the thirteenth) century; it is the only medieval surplice that we possess. This surplice shows geometrical ornaments in white linen embroidery on the shoulders, breast, back, and below the shoulders, where, as in the albs of the same date, large full gores have been inserted in the body of the garment.
  
 
==External link==
 
==External link==
 
*[[Wikipedia:Surplice]]
 
*[[Wikipedia:Surplice]]
 
  
 
[[Category:Vestments]]
 
[[Category:Vestments]]
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[[Category:Western Rite]]

Latest revision as of 10:37, December 25, 2011

The Death of St. Bede, the monastic clergy are wearing (long) surplices over their cowls

The surplice (Late Latin superpelliceum, from super, "over" and pellis, "fur") is a non-liturgical vestment used by in traditional Western worship. The surplice has the form of a tunic of white linen or cotton material. It continues in use by various Christian communions of the West (particularly the Roman Catholic Church), as well as in the Orthodox Church's Western Rite.

History

It was originally a long garment with open sleeves reaching nearly to the ground, as it remains in the Anglican and other English traditions. In the Roman Catholic tradition after the schism and after the Middle Ages , it became shorter (barely to the hips), had closed sleeves, square shoulders and often features lace decoration. Sometimes the Roman Catholic-style surplice is referred to with the Medieval Latin term cotta [meaning 'cut-off' in Italian], as it is derived from the cut-off alb.

The surplice descended from the Greek alb, which it replaced in the North before Rome's schism from Orthodoxy.

Ornamentation

The surplice apparently seldom received rich ornamentation. In pictures and sculpture from the Middle Ages it appears as a garment hanging in many folds, but otherwise plain throughout. There is a surplice at Neustift near Brixen in the Tyrol that dates back to the twelfth (or, at least, to the thirteenth) century; it is the only medieval surplice that we possess. This surplice shows geometrical ornaments in white linen embroidery on the shoulders, breast, back, and below the shoulders, where, as in the albs of the same date, large full gores have been inserted in the body of the garment.

External link

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