Saturday, November 13, 2010
The Amice - Priests Vestments
Certain mendicant Orders, such as the Dominicans and Franciscans, and some other orders with hooded habits, often donned the amice over the raised hood. The priest, or minister, then fastened the ribbons - crossed at the chest - behind his chest. The alb was donned over the hood/amice, and fastened. The hood/amice could then be retracted neatly around the collar.
Curiously enough, this collar-like amice spread to the Armenian Church, where is retained as a normal part of the priestly vestments among the Armenian Orthodox, who call it varkas. While donning the amice, the priest first drapes the amice over his head (as with a hood), then lowers it to his neck, tying it around his torso. During this action he prays a short prayer asking God to clothe him with the "helmet of salvation".