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An episcopal vestment, blessed for a bishop and placed on his hands at his ordination. The practice of wearing them at liturgical functions began about the eleventh century. They are worn only at a pontifical Mass, and then only to the washing of the hands. They are made of knitted silk and ornamented on the back with a cross. They vary in color according to the Mass celebrated but are not used at Masses for the dead.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.