from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A long sleeveless vestment worn over the alb by a priest during services.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for celebrating Eucharist or Mass.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The outer vestment worn by the priest in saying Mass, consisting, in the Roman Catholic Church, of a broad, flat, back piece, and a narrower front piece, the two connected over the shoulders only. The back has usually a large cross, the front an upright bar or pillar, designed to be emblematical of Christ's sufferings. In the Greek Church the chasuble is a large round mantle.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Eccles., a sleeveless vestment, originally circular in outline, but in medieval and modern use of an elliptical shape, or modified from this so as to be nearly rectangular, and provided with an aperture in the center through which to pass the head.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a long sleeveless vestment worn by a priest when celebrating Mass
Now conical chasubles are rare enough to see, all things considered, but the sight of a conical rose chasuble is virtually unheard of:
Right: Side detail visible of an 18th century chasuble from the monastery church of Santa Chiara, Naples.) (Centre: A chasuble from the church of the Gesu in Rome, made for Cardinal Farnese in the second half of the 16th century and based upon an earlier design of the artist Raphael.
In fact, there is thought that the chasuble is actually derived from what was originally a common form of Roman civil dress:
The ornament which the bishop is wearing above the chasuble is the rationale, an episcopal humeral, a counterpart of the pallium, and like it worn over the chasuble.
His chasuble was a full and heavy mantle in which red and white could be seen in transparency, and gleaming with jewels . . .
The Cardinal afterwards changes his cope for a chasuble, which is purple as well as that of the subdeacon; but the deacon, as he is going to bless the Paschal candle , wears a white dalmatic.
The tunicle became the customary vestment of the subdeacons; the chasuble was the vestment exclusively worn at the celebration of the Mass, as the pluvial, the liturgical caps, took its place at the other functions.
On another one, which is called the chasuble of Naintre, the Virgin is seated in majesty, with richly-wrought sandals on her feet, and holding the Infant Jesus on her knees.
Father Symondson also has a great interest in the matter of vestments and he recently wished to submit to the NLM a piece considering the "Borromean" form of chasuble, which is the style that might be said to sit halfway between the more full flowing "gothic" form and the typical Baroque form that we are accustomed to seeing.
Very prominent on the chasuble is the massive tau, with adjoining panels supporting the neckline.