What is an Alb? My parish priest just asked me to be his main server on Holy Thursday, and said that I will need to wear an alb. I have come across multiple different version online. What does it look like?
An alb is a white garment that goes over your other clothes. They come in slightly different styles. They’re typically worn by altar servers and clergy wear albs under their chasubles.
I would check with whoever is in charge of the altar servers at your parish to see what is already available for you to use.
Here are a couple of samples of what they look like.
Go to the working Sacristy where they keep all the altar server albs and try some on.
I’m sure they have one that fits you.
***It sounds like you are an adult; if so the altar server albs won’t fit you (even if they have long ones, children’s albs won’t fit around an adults chest and hips).
In most parishes the priest has two, three, or even more adult albs, that he and other priests can wear, just ask your pastor.***
It’s funny how one’s parish influences one’s answer to questions like these. It didn’t even occur to me to think that altar server albs wouldn’t fit since my parish has servers from childhood through older adults, with more adults serving than children.
My recollection (from being an altar server and having brothers who did as well) is that most parishes have several different sizes of albs to choose from.
Depending on the options available for adults, you may go with either an alb OR a cassock and surplice. A cassock is a garment, usually black, that is somewhat similar to an alb except for the colour and it does not have a hood. (An alb usually has a hood, or a cowl as I think they are formally called. If you wear an alb with a cowl, you’ll want to make sure the cowl is shaped as a perfect triangle behind your back - somebody may have to help you adjust it.) A surplice is a square-necked, wide-sleeved, short tunic-type garment that is worn over the cassock. I would suggest talking to the priest, as the PPs have suggested, and determining what is available.
The OP mentioned already that the priest said “wear an alb.” I am a HUGE fan of the cassock and surplice look. I would prefer that all servers and particularly MCs wear them (which the Ceremoniale Episcoporum allows to MCs of the Bishop). However, when a comment such as yours is posted, it seems to suggest that the option is shifted to the server when this is simply not true. Priest says alb, wear the alb, and ask the Priest if you need any clarifications. The alb is, after all, the common garment to all the baptized, whereas the Cassock and Surplice is merely a privilege granted to male servers by virtue of their standing in for jobs which used to be done by clergy.
I am no huge fan of the cassock and surplice especially the short square yoke surplice. I was an altar boy many years ago and all we had were cassock and surplice. I always felt a little indecent in a surplice that only came to the waist. Yes I know silly, but I was just a kid. Thank goodness we only wore regular linen surplice. I would have really felt indecent in a lace surplice. What I like to jokingly call “negligee” vestments. Really I just don’t care for abvriated vestments. But I guess they were needed before air conditioning. :shrug:
=discernmentinpr;11853128]What is an Alb? My parish priest just asked me to be his main server on Holy Thursday, and said that I will need to wear an alb. I have come across multiple different version online. What does it look like?
Its the while-full length garmet uder the cassock [outer garmet] and usually has a roped cincure oriund its center:)