The Vestments

Vestments are those special garments worn by a priest or other minister at the Eucharist (Mass) or other sacramental ceremonies. The two main garments most likely to be seen are the chasuble and the cope. There are many styles of chasuble but most of those owned by the parish are in the Gothic style. Both the chasuble and the cope are historically derived from an outer cloak worn in the ancient Graeco-Roman world. The cope still looks like a cloak as we would know it today and may be worn in procession and in non-eucharistic ceremonies (e.g. weddings, morning/evening prayer, benediction, etc). A cope can be worn by ministers other than a priest whereas a chasuble can only be worn by a priest. The chasuble is smaller than a cope and looks like a circle of cloth worn tent-like with a hole cut in the centre for the head. The chasuble is worn by a priest for the eucharist.
Both chasuble and copes are made from silk or other 'rich' materials and often embroidered or decorated with Christian symbols or figures.
The colours of the garments are associated with the liturgical season or festivals and there are five permitted colours

The seasons and their colours are:

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Green

‘Ordinary’ Sundays and weekdays (i.e. not festivals or during a particular season)


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Purple

Advent and Lent (But Rose pink may be used on the Third Sunday in Advent and the Fourth Sunday in Lent)

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
(also known as All Souls)


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White (or Gold)Christmas, Epiphany, Maundy Thursday, Easter, Trinity Sunday Solemnities of the Lord Saint’s days (such as St John the Apostle, Conversion of St Paul, Nativity of St John the Baptist) Angels and Saints who are not martyrs and the feast of All Saints


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Red

Palm Sunday, Pentecost Other Saint’s days (being apostles, evangelists and martyrs)



St Mary the Virgin East Grinstead. Church of England Parish in the Diocese of Chichester

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