Have you ever wondered about the garment that your religious leader wears? You may have come across different liturgical vestments and is curious about their name and significance. More specifically, if your pastor or priest wears a “chasuble” over his alb or robe and stole, you may be wondering what’s the purpose or symbolism of the vestment. For the purpose of this post, the question is, “What are the types of chasubles that you need to know?” Let’s attempt to answer that question.


What’s the Chasuble?

In the context of Catholicism, the chasuble is a liturgical vestment and the outermost garment that covers the ordinary garments worn by officiating priests and bishops at mass. It’s also worn by some Anglicans and Lutherans during Eucharist celebrations. The large poncho-like garment symbolizes the Yoke of Christ and the “seamless garment” that covered Christ at the time of his crucifixion. Chasubles are generally loose-fit and comfortable and are adorned with a large cross featured on either the back or front of the vestment. The color of a chasuble typically reflects the symbolic color of the liturgical feast or season. The ancient vestment serves a sacred function, highlighting the connection that exists between the priest, the Mass, and Jesus’ sacrifice at calvary.


Different Types of Chasubles

Conical chasubles are rare and the original version of chasuble from which other types has been fashioned. This chasuble is generally seen as restricting because it limits arm movement, making it inconvenient vestment to wear. Think of conical chasuble as a modern day circular poncho. 


Monastic chasubles are the largely elongated ovals, with the side typically falling at roughly the wearer’s wrist. These chasubles are the largest and fullest-fitting among modern models. While the oval model is more common, there are also rectangular models as well, and Orphreys feature a “column” style on the front and back, with a single band extending from neck to hem.


Gothic or Regular chasubles are usually more elongated oval shaped than monastic chasubles and doesn’t feature corners that are squared off. Rather than extending to the wrist, they extend to the wearer’s elbow or somewhat. Orphreys typically feature a column band in the front and the “Y”-shaped cross in the back. These chasubles are less richly decorated than the fiddleback chasuble and resemble modern chasubles.


Fiddleback Chasubles are also referred to as the “Roman” chasuble. These chasubles offer limited shoulder coverage and hangs both in the front and back, and are the shortest and smallest. Commonplace in Traditionalist Catholic congregations, these chasubles are filled with decorated accents. 


For the right selection of chasubles, Catholic Purchasing Services is the place to get your liturgical wears. If you have questions about religious vestment, we have a dependable team that can be your guide. Come visit us today for your chasuble.

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