Thursday, 30 August 2012

The amice apparel : 1

Not infrequently, we receive questions about vestments which appear on this blog which have an unusual collar-like attachment.  This attachment is called an APPAREL.  Sometimes when shopping at the supermarket, one finds a sign in one of the aisles saying "Apparel": these are not, however, for liturgical use.  The liturgical apparel is not, in fact, attached to the chasuble, but to the amice and has been a form of decoration used with vestments for a millenium.  

The history of the amice apparel will be the subject of a further post. This post, however, is an illustrated guide to the archane mystery of wearing an amice apparel.

Our first illustration (above) shews the apparel sitting on top of the amice.  Notice that the apparel is set back approximately one-and-half inches or 4-5 cm from the upper edge of the amice.  This allows the amice to be tucked into the collar of the albe or cassock once the chasuble has been put on, creating a tidier appearance (see the fourth illustration).  Our first illustration shews the position where pins may be used to attach the apparel to the amice.  Note that pins are used on only ONE EDGE of the apparel, not to both edges.  Also note that the ends of the apparel are NOT pinned down.

Our second illustration (above) shews the apparelled amice sitting on the head after the albe has been put on.  In the usual method of wearing an amice, the amice is tucked into the collar before the albe is put on.  But it remains over the head when an apparel is used.  The face is not a portrait.

Our third illustration (above) shews the apparelled amice still sitting on the head after the stole and chasuble have been put on.

Our fourth illustration (above) shews the apparel in its final resting place.  Having been pulled back down from the head, the unencumbered edge of the amice is tucked into the alb or cassock collar.  This draws the apparel together and gives a tidier appearance at the neckline.  Thus the apparel sits free of both the chasuble and amice, as shewn above. Sometimes, assistance will be needed to tuck the back of the amice into the chasuble.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.