Cincture

Cincture
An Anglican priest wearing a white girdle around his waist to hold his alb and stole in place.

The cincture is a liturgical vestment, worn encircling the body around or above the waist. The term has two distinct meanings, the usage generally dividing along denominational lines. Where the context does not indicate which meaning is intended, ambiguity may be avoided by the use of the terms "girdle" and "fascia".

In the Roman Catholic Church, the cincture is a long, rope-like cord with tassled or knotted ends, tied around the waist outside the alb. The colour may be white, or may vary according to the colour of the liturgical season. A bishop's cincture is made of intertwining gold and green threads, a cardinal's has red and gold, and the pope's with white and gold.

When the cincture is tied in the front and the ends draped on either side, it is called a Roman Knot. Besides its functional role in securing the alb and stole, the cincture bears a symbolic role, signifying chastity and purity.

The same vestment is widely used in the Anglican, Methodist and Lutheran churches, as well as some other Protestant churches. However, in these denominations it is usually referred to as a girdle, the term "cincture" being used instead to signify a broad sash worn over the cassock somewhat above the waist. This latter vestment is in the Roman Catholic Church known as a fascia, and the use of this vestment is restricted to ordained clergy and seminarians.

See also



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  • Cincture — • More commonly called in England, the girdle is an article of liturgical attire which has been recognized as such since the ninth century Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Cincture     Cincture …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Cincture — Cinc ture, n. [L. cinctura, fr. cingere, cinctum, to gird.] 1. A belt, a girdle, or something worn round the body, as by an ecclesiastic for confining the alb. [1913 Webster] 2. That which encompasses or incloses; an inclosure. Within the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cincture — index border (bound), embrace (encircle), enclosure, encompass (surround) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • cincture — (n.) 1580s, from L. cinctura a girdle, from cinctus, pp. of cingere to surround, encircle (see CINCH (Cf. cinch)). The verb is recorded from 1757. Related: Cinctured …   Etymology dictionary

  • cincture — Cincture, Cindre, voyez Ceindre …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • cincture — [siŋk′chər] n. [L cinctura, a girdle < cingere: see CINCH] 1. the act of encircling or girding 2. anything that encircles, as a belt or girdle …   English World dictionary

  • cincture — /singk cheuhr/, n., v., cinctured, cincturing. n. 1. a belt or girdle. 2. something that surrounds or encompasses as a girdle does; a surrounding border: The midnight sky had a cincture of stars. 3. (on a classical column) a fillet at either end… …   Universalium

  • cincture — 1. noun /sɪŋk.ʃə/ a) An enclosure, or the act of enclosing, encircling or encompassing In one, dated eighteen years ago, he appeared, wearing only sandals and a cincture of vine leaves, between two classical garden statues. b) A girdle or belt,… …   Wiktionary

  • cincture — cinc•ture [[t]ˈsɪŋk tʃər[/t]] n. v. tured, tur•ing 1) a belt or girdle 2) something that surrounds or encompasses, as a surrounding border 3) the act of girding or encompassing 4) to gird with or as if with a cincture; encircle; encompass •… …   From formal English to slang

  • cincture — /ˈsɪŋktʃə / (say singkchuh) noun 1. a belt or girdle. 2. something surrounding or encompassing like a girdle; a surrounding border. 3. the act of girding or encompassing. –verb (t) (cinctured, cincturing) 4. to gird with or as with a cincture;… …   Australian-English dictionary

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