What is "Cassock" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 16-Apr-2023 (5 months, 6 days ago)
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A cassock is a specific type of garment worn by certain religious clergy members, particularly in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox traditions. It is a long, ankle-length robe with long sleeves and a close-fitting collar. The cassock is typically made of a durable and heavyweight fabric, often black in color, although it can be found in other liturgical colors depending on the occasion or the rank of the wearer.

The primary purpose of the cassock is to serve as a distinctive and symbolic garment for clergy members. It represents their role and authority within the church and is often worn during religious services, ceremonies, and other official occasions. The design and style of the cassock can vary depending on the specific religious order or denomination.

In terms of construction, the cassock is typically made of high-quality fabrics to ensure durability and longevity. Traditional materials used include wool, wool blends, and polyester blends. These fabrics are chosen for their ability to drape well, resist wrinkling, and withstand regular wear and tear. The cassock is often lined to provide additional structure and comfort to the wearer.

Several renowned manufacturers specialize in producing cassocks for religious clergy members. One prominent manufacturer is Gammarelli, an Italian company based in Rome that has been producing liturgical garments since the late 18th century. Gammarelli is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail, and its cassocks are highly regarded for their quality and design.

Another notable manufacturer is Wippell, an English company with a long history of producing ecclesiastical garments. Founded in 1789, Wippell is recognized for its traditional craftsmanship and commitment to using high-quality materials. The company offers a wide range of cassocks tailored to meet the specific requirements of different religious orders and denominations.

The top users of cassocks are clergy members within the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches. These garments are worn by various ranks of clergy, including priests, bishops, cardinals, and other ecclesiastical officials. The cassock distinguishes them as individuals of authority and signifies their commitment to their religious vocation.

Within the Roman Catholic Church, for instance, priests typically wear a black cassock, while bishops often wear a purple or red cassock, depending on their rank or position. In the Anglican tradition, the color and design of the cassock may vary depending on the specific liturgical tradition followed by the clergy member or the directives of their particular diocese. Similarly, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, cassocks may be worn in different colors, often reflecting the liturgical season or the rank of the clergy member.

In addition to its liturgical significance, the cassock is also occasionally worn by choirs, acolytes, and altar servers during religious services. It serves as a uniform and unifying garment within the church community, reinforcing a sense of shared purpose and identity.

In summary, a cassock is a distinctive and symbolic garment worn by clergy members in various religious traditions. It is typically made of high-quality fabrics and serves as a visual representation of the wearer's role and authority within the church. Prominent manufacturers such as Gammarelli and Wippell specialize in producing cassocks of exceptional quality and design. The top users of cassocks are clergy members in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches, where these garments play a significant role in religious ceremonies and services.
The cassock, also known as a soutane, is a long, sheath-like, close fitting, ankle length robe worn by Christian celebrants of various denominations, including Anglicans and Roman Catholics. The cassock derives ultimately from the tunic that was formerly worn underneath the toga in classical antiquity.
It comes in a number of colours, which have traditional meanings.

The ordinary priest's cassock is black. Bishops traditionally wear purple ones; cardinals, of course, get red ones, and the Pope's cassock is white. In tropical climates, ordinary priests frequently wear white cassocks.The cassock comes in a number of styles, though no particular symbolism attaches to these. A Roman cassock has many buttons down the front; a French cassock has fewer front buttons, but buttons sewn to the sleeves after the manner of a suit, and a broader skirt. A Jesuit cassock has a fly fastened with hooks.Cassocks are sometimes worn by lay people when they are assisting with the liturgy in church. In most Western countries, the clergy have generally abandoned the cassock as everyday clothing in favour of a clerical suit of more conventional design.
A black garment reaching down to the ankles; worn by priests or choristers.

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