Bishop's vestments are a special set of liturgical garments that are used by the highest church hierarchs – bishops, archbishops, metropolitans and patriarchs for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and other church sacraments.
The history of the emergence of bishop's vestments is rooted in Christian antiquity. Initially, during the time of the early Christian communities, it was difficult to trace the difference between bishops and presbyters. Only later these ranks began to acquire significant differences. The same thing happened with the liturgical garments. The most ancient bishop's vestments known are phelonion and omophorion. It was the priestly phelonion, originally just a top cloak with a hole for the head, that was the main liturgical clothing of bishops until the beginning of the 11th century.
Omophorion is a wide long band embroidered with crosses, the oldest bishop's garment. In its symbolic meaning it is close to epitrachelion and orarion. The omophorion is worn on the shoulders, and its ends fall down in front and behind from the left shoulder far down, almost to the ankle. This liturgical garment symbolizes fallen humanity, the sins of which Christ took on his shoulders. Thus, like the Savior of the world, the bishop bears responsibility for the flock entrusted to him – all the people for whom he performs his ministry.
The modern bishop's garment, known as “sakkos” (Greek: σάκκος, from Hebrew saq – sackcloth) appears in the 11th century. Initially, these were coarse robes that were worn during fasting or for repentance. However, at that time among the imperial robes in Byzantium there was a garment similar in shape to sakkos, called the dalmatic. The dalmatic is the formal attire of the imperial ceremonial. Often the Byzantine Emperors presented the bishops with similar clothes that they wore for solemn services. Due to the similarity of the form with sakkos, this name also passed to the dalmatic, which is now always called “sakkos”.
Bishop's vestments are garments worn by bishops during their worship and church ceremonies. The main distinctive clothing of the bishop (omophorion) has two forms: the small and the great. Small, as its name implies, is much shorter. The hierarchs wear a great omophorion from the beginning of the Liturgy to the reading of the Holy Apostle. The rest of the bishop's vestments includes a sticharion (podriznik), epitrachelion, zone (belt), epimanikia (cuffs) and sakkos, all made from one type of fabric. Each of the elements of the vestments can be made to order, taking into consideration the requirements specified by the client. For example, a client can make adjustments to the length of the robe or the sleeves, the width of the shoulders, etc. Beautiful church vestments are presented on our website, sewn in accordance with all church canons and rules.
Materials we use for sewing the vestments of bishops:
Gabardine (Ukraine, Russia);
Despite the fact, that you can buy bishop's vestments in almost any church shop, very often you can stumble upon low-quality goods. Why is this so? And the thing is in the materials that are used for sewing vestments. You should not look for the lowest prices and immediately buy the product you liked. First you need to ask the seller from which country are the materials they use. High-quality church vestments are sewn from fabrics of Ukrainian or Greek production.
All vestments presented in our online store are made only of high-quality materials of domestic and foreign production. Strong and practical fabrics, good threads with smooth and reliable seams that will not come apart.