What Is Our Priest Wearing? – The Stole

The STOLE, pictured here on Bishop John McCarthy

The STOLE is a long cloth, about four inches wide and of the same color as the chasuble, that is worn around the neck like a scarf.  It is secured at the waist with the cincture.

Traditionally, the STOLE was crisscrossed on the chest of the priest to symbolize the cross.

The STOLE too is of ancient origin.  Rabbis wore prayer shawls with tassels as a sign of their authority.

The crisscrossing of the STOLE also was symbolic of the crisscrossed belts the Roman soldiers wore: one belt, holding the sword at the waist, and the other belt, holding a pouch with provisions, like food and water.

In this sense, the STOLE reminds the priest not only of his authority and dignity as a priest, but also of his duty to preach the Word the God with courage and conviction

“Indeed, God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.” Hebrews 4:12

and to serve the needs of the faithful.  The former vesting prayer was

“Restore unto me, O Lord, the Stole of immortality which I lost through the sin of my first parents and, although unworthy to approach Thy sacred Mystery, may I nevertheless attain to joy eternal.”

 

Source:  CatholicStraightAnswers.com

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