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Before the popularity of the cassock alb, the amice and flowing white alb tied with a rope cincture were seen in every sacristy.  All altar guild members and sacristans had to know how to lay out the vestments on the counter or the top of the vestment press in a particular order going from the first thing to go on over the black cassock to the donning of the last vestment, the chasuble.  The vestments were laid out in reverse order with the chasuble on the bottom (front down), the stole laid out in an “H” shape, followed by the maniple centered, the rope cincture coiled in an “S”  to form the sacred IHS monogram  The snowy alb was arranged on top of this and the amice laid on top with the strings crossed, thus the first piece needed would be the last thing placed on top. Prayers would be said on each vestment, with the card of prayers usually framed and placed in behind the layout of vestments.  Today the maniple is rarely seen and the cassock alb has, in many sacristies, replaced the amice, alb and rope cincture-and so these prayers have now all but disappeared.  Still, some parishes continue this tradition and the cards may be found plain or laminated at many online sources.  Pax House offers this attractive set already framed at

http://www.paxhouse.com/altarcards.html 

 

At Washing the Hands

CLEANSE my hands, O Lord, from all stain, that, pure in mind and body, I may be worthy to serve Thee.

While putting on the Amice

PLACE, O Lord, the helmet of Salvation upon my head to repel the assaults of the Devil.

While putting on the Alb

CLEANSE me, O Lord, and purify my heart, that, being made white in the Blood of the Lamb, I may attain everlasting joy.

While putting on the Girdle or Cincture

GIRD me, O Lord, with the girdle of purity and quench in me the fire of concupiscence, that the grace of temperance and chastity may abide in me.

 While putting on the Maniple

GRANT me, O Lord, to bear the light burden of grief and sorrow, that I may with gladness take the reward of my labor.

While putting on the Stole

GIVE me again, O Lord, the stole of immortality, which I lost by the transgression of my first parents, and although I am unworthy to come unto Thy Holy Sacrament, grant that I may attain everlasting felicity.

While putting on the Chasuble

LORD, who hast said, My yoke is easy, and My burden is light, grant that I may so bear it, as to attain Thy grace. Amen.

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