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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Clergy Vestments

Vestments Patterns For Vestments Clergy Dress

Deacon

STICHARION or tunic, EPIMANIKIA or cuffs underneath his STICHARION's broader sleeve, and ORARION or diaconal stole

Priest

STICHARION or tunic as an undergarment, EPITRACHELION or priestly stole, ZONE or belt-like cincture girds the STICHARION and passing over the EPITRACHELION holds it in place, EPIMANIKIA or cuffs over the sleeves of the STICHARION, PHELONION or outer cloak, EPIGONATION is a lozenge shaped vestment suspended by a cord from the left shoulder and anging at the right knee, which some consider the pastor's badge of office, and KAMELAVKION or clerical hat (priest) or KAMELAVKION or clerical hat with the EPANOKAMELAVKION or black veil (monk).

Bishop

His Excellency / Sayedna / Sayidna Nicholas Samra, Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellos of Newton's explaination of the three roles of the Bishop

Bishop / Sayedna Nicholas explained that the job of the Bishop is to be the high priest and the chief shepherd of the church. He told how the robes the bishop wears symbolize his role as Ruler, Guardian, and Guide.

The three roles are illustrated in the vestments of the Bishop.
The Bishop's Ruler role is shown by the crown.
The Bishop's Guardian role is shown by the shepherd's staff.
The Bishop's Guide role is shown by the bells on the Saccos. The bells call us to follow the Bishop.

Bishop / Sayedna Nicholas' explaination was to Saint Elias the Prophet Melkite Greek Catholic Mission Eastern Christian Formation (ECF) Class.

Vestments

The vestments were styled after the official's robes at the court of the Byzantine Emperor.

STICHARION or tunic as an undergarment, EPITRACHELION or priestly stole, ZONE or belt-like cincture girds the STICHARION and passing over the EPITRACHELION holds it in place, EPIMANIKIA or cuffs over the sleeves of the STICHARION

SACCOS is a short tunic with ample box sleeves. The sides of the Saccos are buttoned with bells. The bells begin at the wrist, go down the sleeve, and down the side to the bottom hem.

OMOPHORION is a large, long band of cloth it is marked with crosses and is passed around the neck hanging in front and behind.

EPIGONATION is a lozenge shaped vestment suspended by a cord from the left shoulder and anging at the right knee, which some consider the pastor's badge of office.

KAMELAVKION or clerical hat with the EPANOKAMELAVKION or black veil.

Related items

A Bishop carries a sheperd's staff. The staff is about mid-chest high and has a small cross bar as a handle.

A Bishop wears a mitra or a crown. The crown is embroidered, has small ikons, and is surmounted by a cross. Also, some Archimandrites and Archpriests have the right to the use of the crown.

During the Divine Liturgy, a Bishop wears an encolpia. It is a medallion with an ikon of The Theotokos.

During the Divine Liturgy, a Bishop does not wear a pectoral cross. At other times, he may wear a pectoral cross. A pectoral cross is not limited to Bishops. Any priest who has a special honor or dignity may wear a pectoral cross.

Dikerion are double branch candle sticks (symbolizing the double nature in Christ) and Trikerion are triple branch candle sticks (symbolizing the Trinity) used by the Bishop to give solemn blessings.

Bishops rarely wear a Bishop's ring.

Bishop-Choir Dress:

MANDYAS or mantle, PATERITSA or pastoral staff (The Bishop carries a shorter and simpler staff of wood topped by a simple knob when walking.), KAMELAVKION or clerical hat with the EPANOKAMELAVKION or black veil

Vestment Color

Basically the Byzantine Church talks of two colors: bright and dark.

Bright is for celebration:
  • for celebration of Feasts except for martyrs
  • for celebration of the Sundays following a Feast

Bright includes white, gold, blue, and green as solids and combinations.

The custom is:

Blue on Feasts of the Theotokos Great Feasts class 2:
Nativity of The Theotokos, Entrance of The Theotokos into the Temple, Holy Hypapanty of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ / The Purification of The Theotokos, Annunciation (Al Bisharah) of The Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and Dormition of The Theotokos
Green on Feasts of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ Feasts of Feasts and Great Feasts class 1:
Holy and Glorious Palm Sunday--Shaneeneh, Pentecost and the Sundays following Pentecost
White or Gold Feasts of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ Feasts of Feasts and Great Feasts class 1:
Holy and Glorious Pascha, on the Sundays following Pascha, Nativity According to the Flesh of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Holy Theophany of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Transfiguration of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Holy and Glorious Palm Sunday--Shaneeneh, and Ascension into Heaven of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ
Dark is for preparation and non-festive Feasts.
  • For preparation (fasting and penitential).
  • For non-festive Feasts of martyrs

Dark includes red, maroon, purple, and violet.

The custom is:

Purple
Pre-Nativity of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Great Lent Sundays (except for the Third Sunday of Great Lent - Sunday of Veneration of the Holy Cross), Apostle's Fast, and The Fast for the Great Feast of the Dormition or The Theotokos Fast or Our Lady's Fast
Maroon (dark red)
Matins (Service of the Twelve Gospels or Passion Gospels or Crucifixion Service) of Great and Holy Friday is celebrated on Great and Holy Thursday evening
Red
Third Sunday of Great Lent - Sunday of Veneration of the Holy Cross) to show a moderation of the penitential season because of the promise of Resurrection inherent in the Cross.
Red on feasts of martyrs

General Information

Byzantine Vestments Saint Ann Melkite Catholic Church, West Patterson, NJ


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Saturday, August 08, 2009, 22:30:51, CDT
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