Monday, 14 October 2013

Pictoral Explanation: Syro Malabar Vestments

First we start with the Kottina: Kottina is the long tunic type garment reaching from the neck to the ankles, of any color. Kottina is the Syriac term used for the outer garment of lso’-Msiha, which was woven as one whole by Blessed Virgin Mary and is said to have grown big with him.The person who wears Kottina, puts on Iso’-Msiha and performs His priestly ministry in His place.

Next we have the Zunara: Zunara is the Syriac word for the belt-like strip of cloth worn over the Kottina at the waist. It is the symbol of “Chastity”. Holy Qurbana and other rites of divine worship are acts which are to be performed with perfect holiness, keeping oneself away from all kinds of worldly thoughts and emotions.
Next there is the Urara: Urara is the special humeral vestment worn by priests in the neck in such a way that its both ends extend beyond the knees in front. The Subdeacons (Heuppadiakana) wear it around their neck in such a way that its ends fall to the back and front on the left shoulder. The Deacons (Msamsana) wear it on the left shoulder without putting it around the neck. In Latin tradition, they call it the Stole.This sacred vestment is the symbol of ministerial priesthood in all liturgical traditions.
Next there is the Zande: Zande is the Syriac word for gloves or handcuffs. They are worn to keep the handcuffs of the Kottina in order.
And finally we have the Paina: Paina is the outermost liturgical vestment that priests put on. It is similar to the cope in Latin tradition. In Syriac it is known as Gulta. Paina or Gulta is the garment of justice. It proclaims the fact that a priest is the fount or source of all kinds of virtues. Historically, paina appears to be the outer garment of shepherds, thus it proclaims the pastoral duty of a priest as well.
Paina Front View
Paina Back View

Syro Malabar Hierarchical Vestments
Like many of the other Eastern Churches, the hierarchs of the Syro Malabar Church use the same vestments of the priests the only difference being they receive a Miter. The miter of the Syro Malabar Church is worn to show the supremacy and leadership of the bishop. For the longest time, Syro Malabar Bishops wore similar miters as the Latin Bishops but during the twentieth century a miter was created distinctly for the Syro Malabar Church the only difference being the design and the shape of the top being rounded instead of pointed. All archbishops and bishops have white colored miters but in order to distinguish the the Syro Malabar Major Archbishop, His Excellency's miter was made red. Seen below are Archbishops Mar Andrews Thazhath and Mar Mathew Moolakkattu and Major Archbishop Maran Mar George Alencherry.

Mar Mathew Moolakkattu
Mar Andrews Thazhath

Maran Mar George Alencherry

1 comment:

  1. "Paina is the outermost liturgical vestment that priests put on. ... In Syriac it is known as Gulta"

    If it's used that way, its actually a misnomer. The ghoultho (or gulta) is something else, that being the "outer cassock" worn as choir or street dress.