From a purely aesthetic viewpoint do you think Western or Eastern Catholic vestments look best?


By gaudy I did not mean excessively ornately, ute rather that the base fabric of the vestments is too shiny for my taste…I love ornate Roman vestments, but preferably with only the embroidery shiny, not the base fabric


Also from other traditions, such as Chaldean:


And Coptic:


And don’t priests fight evil and sin through the Mass?


Could you explain this a bit? In what way do the western vestments convey this message?


The zone can certainly emphasize a belly that is not smooth and fit.


I know that Latin vestments all have symbolism behind them, and I would assume EC vestments have this symbolism… Where can I learn this?


These are the vesting prayers of the priest.

When the priest vests, he first blesses each vestment with his right hand, kisses the cross on the vestment, and puts it on, saying the appropriate prayer. However, if a bishop is present in the church when it is time to vest, the priest will first take his vestments to the bishop and ask his blessing. In this case, the priest will not bless each vestment before putting it on, but rather cross himself, kiss the cross on the vestment and put it on.

Taking in his right hand the Sticharion and making three reverences toward the East to the Holy Doors, the Priest blesses it:

Blessed is our God + at all times, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.

He then puts it on, saying:

My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, for He has clothed me with a robe of salvation and covered me with a tunic of happiness; He has crowned me as a bridegroom and adorned me with jewels as a bride.

At the Epitrachelion:

Blessed is God + who pours out grace upon his priests: as the chrism upon the head, which ran down unto the beard, the beard of Aaron, ran down even to the hem of his garment, at all times, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.

At the Zone:

Blessed is God + who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless and strengthens my feet like the hart’s, at all times, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.

At the Epimanikia (the right hand):

Your right hand, + Lord, is made glorious in might; your right hand, Lord, has crushed the enemies; and in the fullness of your glory, You have routed the adversary.

At the Epimanikia (left hand):

Your hands + have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding and I shall learn your commandments.

At the Epigonation (Palitsa) and Nabedrennik (if he has been awarded their use):

Gird Your sword at Your side, Mighty One, in Your splendor and beauty. String Your bow; go forth, reign for the sake of truth, meekness and righteousness. Your right hand shall lead You wonderfully, at all times, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.[2]

At the Phelonion:

Your priests, Lord, shall clothe themselves with righteousness, and Your saints shall rejoice in joy, at all times, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.

After that priest and deacon go to the basin and wash their hands, saying:

I will wash my hands in innocency; so will I compass Thine altar, O Lord, That I may make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard, and tell of all Thy wondrous works. LORD, I love the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with men of blood; In whose hands is craftiness, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity; redeem me, and be gracious unto me. My foot standeth in an even place; in the congregations will I bless the Lord.


Thank you! this is fascinating


Sure thing.

Probably related to my own mindset. Remember when Christ washed the feet of the Apostles? Humility. Service. Not making a big deal of self importance. The essence of being a Christian. I get it that beautiful vestments are intended to convey the beauty of the Mass and of the Priest as Christ. But at some point, that message is overpowered by the feeling of self importance and I’m-better-than-you. That’s why I personally prefer the plainer Western style vestments. Just the mixed message.

Also, thanks for the vesting prayer explanations. That was appreciated.



So your reply was specifically regarding the vestments pictured, not necessarily East vs. West? Because both run the gamut as far as simplicity vs. ornate. I can see your point, but I don’t think it applies in a strictly East vs. West way.

While searching for pictures of vestments, I came across this, from a Latin Rite priest, which directly address what you mentioned.


You’re very right… I was addressing the pictured ornaments. Certainly not East vs West. My very favorite Catholic Radio show is the EWTN aired “Light of the East” show. In my opinion, very very very well done explanation of a lot of Catholic principles and traditions from an Eastern perspective. Fr. Loya recently had a show on iconography that was fascinating and from my perspective , instructive to a lot of Western Rite Christians, both Catholic and Protestant.



pidrasnik = cassock [ traditionally black for monastic/celibate and grey for married ]

Sticharion is the equivalent of an alb - and it’s not always white


Essentially, they are the same garment.


No, the podriznik is the priest’s sticharion, not a cassock.

Edited to add link:
This is the result of a search of images for подризник.подризник&safe=strict&rlz=1C1AVNE_enUS660US660&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=ynysfHwKbLB3uM%3A%2C784FolI39m9PNM%2C_&usg=__Qs1ptuZpidLyFdyW4keI7ug1DdI%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjY0IGH4ObXAhWFxVQKHTilDNYQ9QEILjAA#imgrc=ynysfHwKbLB3uM:


Here is a good explanation.


Thank you! This is fascinating!


The deacon and priests suffer in those hot vestments, and sometimes there are mishaps with them, since they are awkward. Now, as to being ornate, it is because the vestments are fit for use around the holy table, which is a Jewish tradition of temple worship. The Talmud states, “While they are clothed in the priestly garments, they are clothed in the priesthood; but when they are not wearing the garments, the priesthood is not upon them” (BT Zevachim 17:B).


I’ve seen Roman Rite priests sweating profusely in some vestments, so I can easily imagine the Eastern Rite vestments could be even worse.


yes and the two or three eastern rite churches that i attended weddings at (in the summer, of course) were not air conditioned

it was HOT. i can only imagine how the priests felt

i gave them credit for stamina


Ours is kept so cold that we wear sweaters on 100 degree days. :cloud_with_snow:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit