Mantle (vesture) - Bishops


There is also an episcopal mantle which is not worn with the other episcopal vestments while celebrating the Divine Liturgy, but when the bishop formally enters the church beforehand, or when a bishop is formally attending (i.e., presiding over) a service in which he is not serving. Instead of black, bishops use other colors: violet for bishops; plum for archbishops; blue for metropolitans; and green for patriarchs in the Russian tradition.

In the Russian tradition, the episcopal mantiya is characteristically decorated with red and white horizontal ribbons, called "rivers" or "streams" (Greek: ποταμοί, potamoí; Slavonic: Istochniki), symbolizing the word of God going out into the entire world (Ezekiel 47:1-12, John 7:38, Revelation 22:1). Among the Greeks, these rivers are normally gold.

The tablets on the Bishop's mantle may be more finely embroidered or made of more costly material than those on the mantle of an archimandrite. The upper tablets (those at the neck) may be embroidered with icons; those at the feet may be embroidered with the bishop's monogram. The episcopal tablets symbolise the four Gospels which must be the focus of a bishop's teachings. The episcopal mantle always has a train on it, and may have small bells attached as well, recalling the bells attached to the Robe of the High Priest (Exodus 28:33-34).

In general, when a bishop celebrates any service other than the Divine Liturgy (or when he is attending, but not celebrating Liturgy), he will wear the mantle with Epitrachelion, Cuffs and Omophorion (the latter being worn outside the mantle). He will also stand on an Orlets.

When a bishop dies, his mantle is laid on his coffin in place of a funeral pall.

Read more about this topic:  Mantle (vesture)

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