MINISTER'S VESTMENTS IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - DR. GIL HAAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Three sacred ministers participate in a “solemn” mass - a celebrant (either priest or bishop), a deacon (which in this sense implies a role and not a holy order and can be a bishop, priest, or deacon), and a subdeacon (who can be of holy orders or a layperson). The deacon is assigned to read the Gospel and prepares the altar for the Eucharist. The subdeacon is assigned to read the Epistle, hold the Gospel book during the Gospel reading, and assist the deacon in preparing the Eucharistic table. The three ministers are assigned vestments peculiar to their office. A cope (derived from a Roman overcoat or cappa [signifying “topmost]) is a highly ornamented cloak worn by the celebrant during the processional and recessional. At the Eucharist, the celebrant dons a chasuble which is less decorated than a cope, but unlike the cope is of the liturgically correct color. The deacon wears a dalmatic (derived from a tunic worn in Dalmatia) of the liturgical color decorated with two horizontal and two vertical orphreys or colored bands. A subdeacon wears the slightly smaller tunicle (Latin word for “tunic”) of the liturgical color but with only one horizontal orphrey.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
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