VESTMENTS, LITURGICAL. (Consult the drawings that follow.)
Deacon: 1. The sticharion, or dalmatic, is the basic festal baptismal garment every Christian wears at Baptism (q.v.). 2. The deacon’s stole or orarion is his emblem of office by which he leads the people in prayer and directs other litugical actions. 3. The deacon also wears cuffs (not visible) both for convenience and for showing forth the power of the right hand of God. (See #5 below.)
Priest: 4. The priest’s stole or epitrachelion is similar to the deacon’s stole, but the ends are sewn parallel ending in a neck hole, and it is emblematic of the consecrating grace of the priesthood. 5. The priest wears cuffs, as does the deacon. (See #3 below.) 6. The belt or zone girds the priest and represents the power and blamelessness that should be exercised in walking before the Lord. 7. In the Russian tradition the square epigonation, or nabedrennik, is the first award given a priest for distinguished service, but it has no significance different from item #8. 8. The palitza, or diamond-shaped epigonation, signifies the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and is a senior award of the priesthood. At times in Greece this vestment has been employed to indicate the educated clergy who are capable of preaching and hearing confession. 9. (The Russian square-cut phelonion is shown.) The phelonion, or chasuble, is the distinguishing garment of the priesthood and probably has its origin in Byzantine court dress. 10. The priest’s cross (not shown) is worn in recent Russian tradition by all priests, but historically it was a senior award of clergy as it still is in the Greek practice.
Bishop: 1. The sakkos, or dalmatic (see next page), is symbolic of Christ’s coat without seam, woven from top to bottom. 2. The omophorion, or pall, typifies the wandering sheep that the Good Shepherd takes upon his shoulders and carries to his Father. 3. The miter is a crown that serves as an emblem of the power bestowed upon the High Priest. 4. The pastoral staff, or crosier, indicates the spiritual authority of bishops and archimandrites over their flocks. The image of the Good Shepherd is one familiar to agricultural societies; and it is well known that a shepherd provides water, food, and safe haven for his flock-guiding, rescuing, and correcting with his staff. 5. The eagle rug is a small, round rug about a foot and a half in diameter with the representation of an eagle hovering over the bishop’s see. The bishop stands on it during the religious services, at each location as he moves to various places in the church during the Divine Liturgy-the center of the church, in front of the altar, behind the altar, etc. 6. The bishop’s mantle (not shown), or cape, is usually multicolored purple and is sewn with the “Tables of the Law,” representing the Old and New Testaments, and the “Fountains,” red and white ribbons encircling the mantle and signifying flowing streams of teaching and wisdom. 7. The panagia, or encolpion, is a pectoral icon (not shown) of the Mother of God with Child, representing the Church bearing the Lord in its heart.