Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/289

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ALATRI
ALB
251

yet no seminary for ecclesiastical students. The orphanage and mission schools are supported mainly by Catholic charity, and the hospitals by organized contributions.

United States Bureau of American Republics, Handbook, 1884; Alaska; Archives of Prefecture Apostolic of Alaska; Devine, Across Wildest America (Montreal, 1905). Also Gibbs, Dall, Nelson, Holmberg, with Petroff, Navy, and other Russian writers.

Alatri, an Italian bishopric under the immediate jurisdiction of the Holy See, comprising seven towns in the Province of Rome. The close proximity of this city to Rome is an argument for believing that Christianity was taught there at a very early date, though this does not compel belief in the local legends which place the conversion of Ferentino, Alatri, and neighboring towns in the apostolic age. The route followed by the earliest preachers of the Gospel in Italy is still unknown. We first meet the name of a bishop of Alatri in Paschasius (551) who accompanied Pope Vigilius to Constantinople on the occasion of the controversy of the Three Chapters. In the church of St. Mary Major in Alatri, is preserved a wooden statue of the Madonna, a splendid example of Roman art of the twelfth century. (See Fogolari, "Sculture in legno del secolo XII", in "L'Art", 1903, I, IV; also Venturi, "Storia dell' arte Italiana", III, 382.) Alatri contains 16 parishes; 77 churches, chapels, and oratories; 64 secular priests, 52 seminarians; 42 regular clergy; 31 lay brothers; 81 religious (women); 30 confraternities; 1 boys school (87 pupils); 3 girls schools (30 pupils). Population, 24,000.

Ughelli, Italia Sacra (Venice, 1722), I, 288; Cappelletti, Le chiese d'Italia (Venice, 1866), VI, 433; Orlandi, Compendiose notizie sacre e profane delle città d'Italia (Perugia, 1770), I; Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiæ catholicæ (Ratisbon, 1873), 660.

Alb, a white linen vestment with close fitting sleeves, reaching nearly to the ground and secured round the waist by a girdle.
Alb
It has in the past been known by many various names: linea or tunica linea, from the material of which it is made; poderis, tunica talaris, or simply talaris, from the fact of its reaching to the feet (tali, ankles); camisia, from the shirt-like nature of the garment; alba, (white) from its colour; and finally, alba Romana, this last seemingly in contradistinction to the shorter tunics which found favour outside of Rome (cf. Jaffé-Löwenfeld, "Regesta", 2295). Of these the name Alba almost alone survives. Another use of the word alb, commonly in the plural albæ (vestes), occurs in medieval writers. It refers to the white garments which the newly baptized assumed on Holy Saturday, and wore until Low Sunday, which was consequently known as dominica in albis (deponendis), the Sunday of the (laying aside of the) white garments. This robe, however, will be more conveniently discussed under the word "Chrismal" (q. v.). From the usage mentioned, both Low Sunday and Trinity Sunday, together with the days preceding seem sometimes to have been called Albæ. Possibly our Whit-Sunday, the Sunday after the Pentecost baptisms, may derive its name from a similar practice. In this article we shall treat of the origin, symbolism, use, form, ornamentation, material, and colour of the alb.

It is impossible to speak positively about the origin of this vestment. Medieval liturgists, e.g. Rupert of Deutz, favoured the view that the Christian vestments in general were derived from those of the Jewish priesthood, and that the alb in particular represents the Kethonet, a white linen tunic of which we read in Exodus, xxviii, 39. But a white linen tunic also formed part of the ordinary attire of both Romans and Greeks under the Empire, and most modern authorities, e.g. Duchesne and Braun, think it needless to look further for the origin of our alb. This view is confirmed, first, by the fact that in the Eucharistic scenes of the catacomb frescoes (e.g. those indicated by Monsignor Wilpert in his "Fractio Panis") the white under-tunic is not always found; and, secondly, by the silence of early Christian writers under circumstances which lead us to expect some allusion to the relation between Jewish and Christian vestments, if any such were recognized (cf. Hieron., "Ad Fabiolam" Ep. 64, P.L., XXII, 607). The fact that a white linen tunic was a common feature of secular attire also makes it difficult to determine the epoch to which we must assign the introduction of our present alb as a distinctly liturgical garment. The word alba, indeed, meets us not infrequently in connection with ecclesiastical vesture in the first seven centuries, but we cannot safely argue from the identity of the name to the identity of the thing. On the contrary, when we find mention of an alba in the "Expositio Missæ" of St. Germanus of Paris (d. 576), or in the canons of the Fourth Synod of Toledo (663), it seems clear that the vestment intended was of the nature of a dalmatic. Hence we can only say that the words of the so-called Fourth Synod of Carthage (c. 398), "ut diaconus tempore oblationis tantum vel lectionis albâ utatur," may or may not refer to a vestment akin to our alb. The slender available evidence has been carefully discussed by Braun (Priesterlichen Gewänder, 24), and he concludes that in the early centuries some sort of special white tunic was generally worn by priests under the chasuble, and that in course of time this came to be regarded as liturgical. A prayer mentioning "the tunic of chastity," which is assigned to the priest in the Stowe Missal, helps to confirm this view, and a similar confirmation may be drawn from the figures in the Ravenna mosaics, though we cannot be sure that these last have been preserved to us unaltered. Before the time of Rabanus Maurus, who wrote his "De Clericorum Institutione" in 818, the alb had become an integral part of the priest's sacrificial attire. Rabanus describes it fully (P. L., CVII, 306). It was to be put on after the amice. It was made, he says, of white linen, to symbolize the self-denial and chastity befitting a priest. It hung down to the ankles, to remind him that he was bound to practice good works to his life's end. At present the priest in putting on the alb says this prayer: "Purify me, O Lord, from all stain, and cleanse my heart, that washed in the Blood of the Lamb I may enjoy eternal delights." The symbolism has evidently changed but little since the ninth century.

As regards the use of the alb, the practice has varied from age to age. Until the middle of the twelfth century the alb was the vestment which all clerics wore when exercising their functions, and Rupert of Deutz mentions that, on great festivals, both in his own monastery and at Cluny, not only those who officiated in the sanctuary, but all the monks in their stalls wore albs. The alb was also worn at this period in all religious functions, e.g. in taking Communion to the sick, or when assisting at a synod. Since the twelfth century, however, the