An Anglican priest vested as a deacon, with alb and cincture and a purple stole.

The alb, one of the liturgical vestments of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and many Protestant churches, is an ample white garment coming down to the ankles and usually girdled with a cincture. It is simply the long linen tunic used by the Romans. In Early Medieval Europe it was also normally worn by secular clergy in non-liturgical contexts.[1] The word is derived from a Latin word meaning "white". [1]

It is the twelfth oldest liturgical vestment, and was adopted very early by Christians, and especially by the clergy for the Eucharistic liturgy. Nowadays, the alb is the common vestment for all ministers at Mass, both clerics and laypersons, and is worn over the cassock and under any other special garments, such as the stole, dalmatic or chasuble. If the alb does not completely cover the collar, an amice is often worn underneath the alb. The shortening of the alb for use outside a church has given rise to the surplice and its cousin the rochet, worn by canons and bishops. Post-Tridentine albs often were made with lace. Since then, this detail has fallen out of style, except in parts of the Anglo-Catholic movement and some very traditional Roman Catholic parishes. In many Anglican parishes, the alb is decorated with apparels. In most High Anglican churches, the Alb is an undergarment worn under the vestments. In some lower and broad Anglican Churches, the alb is considered everyday wear.

A chasuble-alb is a contemporary Eucharistic vestment that combines features of the chasuble and alb. In the Roman Catholic Church, it was first adopted in France, though without official approval. In France it is no longer fashionable. But it has been officially approved in some countries such as the Philippines [2] and in Hawaii.[3] It is always white in colour. A stole of the colour appointed for the Mass of the day is worn outside it, in place of the normal white alb and coloured chasuble.

See also

The alb represents the baptismal garment which hearkens to the book of Revelation: these are the ones who have washed their robes white in the blood of the lamb.


  1. ^ Piponnier, Françoise, and Perrine Mane; Dress in the Middle Ages; p. 114, Yale University Press; 1997; ISBN 0-300-06906-5
  2. ^ Eternal Word Television Network, Global Catholic Network of January 25, 2003.
  3. ^ Bishop Larry Silva’s Liturgical Catechesis at the Hawaii Catholic Herald

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  • alb — ALB, Ă, albi, e, adj., subst. I. adj. 1. Care are culoarea zăpezii, a laptelui; (despre culori) ca zăpada, ca laptele. ♢ Carne albă = carne de pasăre sau de peşte. Hârtie (sau coadă) albă = hârtie care nu a fost scrisă. Rând alb = spaţiu nescris… …   Dicționar Român

  • Alb — • A white linen vestment with close fitting sleeves, reaching nearly to the ground and secured round the waist by a girdle Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Alb     Alb      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • ALB — bezeichnet: Fränkische Alb, ein Jura Mittelgebirge im Norden Bayerns Schwäbische Alb, ein Jura Mittelgebirge in Baden Württemberg Alb (Mythologie), ein Wesen der nordischen Mythologie, im Mittelalter ein Zwerg in der Art eines Succubus Alb… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alb — bezeichnet: Fränkische Alb, ein Jura Mittelgebirge im Norden Bayerns Schwäbische Alb, ein Jura Mittelgebirge in Baden Württemberg Alb (Mythologie), ein Wesen der nordischen Mythologie, auch Elb oder Elfe, im Mittelalter ein Zwerg in der Art eines …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alb — 1 Sf Alp(e). Alb 2 Alb (Alp) Sm Angsttraum erw. fach. (11. Jh.), mhd. alb, ahd. alb, as. alf Stammwort. Aus g. * albi (oder * alba ) m. Alb (mythisches Wesen zwischen Menschen, Göttern und Zwergen, in christlicher Zeit auch als Nachtmahr… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Alb — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ALB — o ALB puede referirse a:, por su abreviatura en jerga de Internet. Albania, por su código ISO 3166 1. Idioma albanés, por su código ISO 639. Johannes Baptista von Albertini, por su abreviatura de autor botánico Alb. Batallón… …   Wikipedia Español

  • alb — /alb/, n. Eccles. a linen vestment with narrow sleaves, worn chiefly by priests, now invariably white in the Western Church but any color in the Eastern Church. [bef. 1100; ME albe, (h)aube ( < MF), OE albe < L alba (vestis) white (garment); cf.… …   Universalium

  • Alb — Alb, n. [OE. albe, LL. alba, fr. L. albus white. Cf. {Album} and {Aube}.] 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Alb [3] — Alb, Gebirge, s. Rauhe Alb …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • alb — ×alb conj. žr. alba: Šitai alb antai BzB71 …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

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