What Is Our Priest Wearing? -The Cincture
The CINCTURE is a long, thick cord with tassels at the ends which secures the alb around the waist. It may be white or may be the same liturgical color as the other vestments.
In the Graeco-Roman world, the CINCTURE was like a belt.
Spiritually, the CINCTURE reminds the priest of the admonition of St. Peter:
“So gird the loins of your understanding; live soberly; set all your hope on the gift to be conferred on you when Jesus Christ appears. As obedient sons, do not yield to the desires that once shaped you in your ignorance. Rather, become holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, after the likeness of the holy One who called you” (I Peter 1:13-15).
The former vesting prayer was:
“Gird me, O Lord, with the CINCTURE of purity and extinguish in my heart the fire of concupiscence so that, the virtue of continence and chastity always abiding in my heart, I may better serve Thee.”