The Stole, Orarium, or Epitrachelion

“We have already alluded to the fact that the priest usually wore his stole uncrossed on the breast until the later part of the middle ages. There is good reason to believe that deacons wore their stoles outside the dalmatic. Throughout the middle ages in the West, the stole remained long and narrow as we can see from numerous sepulchral brasses and effigies, as well as from a number of medieval examples of the stole which still exist…A point which has been overlooked or ignored by the makers of vestments and others today is the fact that the pre-Reformation stole was not made to match the colour of the chasuble or vestment which it accompanied. It was often heavily embroidered in a geometric or regular pattern. Its general colour and pattern agreed with the orphreys and apparels; and thus it contrasted with the chief vestment, as did the maniple.”–Cyril E. Pocknee, “Liturgical Vesture: Its Origins and Development”


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