More commonly called in England, the girdle is an article of liturgical attire which has been recognized as such since the ninth century

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

     Catholic_Encyclopedia Cincture
    (Lat. Cingulum.)
    The cincture (or, as it is more commonly called in England, the girdle) is an article of liturgical attire which has certainly been recognized as such since the ninth century. Then as now it was used to confine the loose, flowing alb, and prevent it from impeding the movements of the wearer. But its liturgical character appears from the prayers which even from early times were recited in putting it on and from the symbolism of spiritual watchfulness which then specially attached to it, according to the text, "Sint lumbi vestri præcincti". The cingulum is enumerated among the Mass vestments in the Stowe Missal, and this very possibly may represent the practice of the Celtic Church in the seventh century. It seems probable, however, that in the Celtic Church, as in the Greek Church of the present day, the girdle was worn only by bishops and priests; the deacon's tunic was left ungirded. Some few surviving examples of early girdles (tenth- and eleventh-century) show that in the beginning the cincture was not always a simple cord, as it is now. On the contrary, we find narrow bands of silk and precious stuff, often richly embroidered, and these lasted until late in the Middle Ages. Some such bands and sashes were again introduced for the same purpose in the last century, but the Congregation of Sacred Rites has disapproved of the practice, though it permitted those which existed to be used until worn out (24 November, 1899). The material of the girdle is preferably flax or hemp, but wool and silk — the latter especially for occasions of solemnity — are not prohibited. This material is woven into a cord, and the ends are usually decorated with tassels, By way of ornament strands of gold and silver thread are sometimes introduced, particularly in the tassels at the extremities. The prayer now recited by the priest in putting on the girdle, "Gird me, O Lord, with the girdle of purity", etc., strongly suggests that this vestment should be regarded as typical of priestly chastity. Like the other Mass vestments, the girdle requires to be blessed before use.
    Some kind of cincture, we may further note, is included in almost every form of religious or ecclesiastical costume. In certain religious orders it receives a special blessing, and in such familiar instances as the Cord of St. Francis or the Girdle of St. Augustine it is sanctioned and indulgenced by the Church as indicating a profession of allegiance to a particular institute. Again, the broad sash, which forms part of the civil attire of bishops, priests, and other ecclesiastics, has been imitated, apparently for sthetic reasons, in the costume of choir boys and servers at the altar. It should be said that this last development, while not expressly prohibited so long as certain rules are observed regarding colour and material, is not in any way prescribed or recommended by ecclesiastical authority.
    BRAUN, Die liturgische Gewandung (Freiburg. 1901) VAN DER STAPPEN, Sacra Liturgia (Mechlin, 1902), IV; BARBIER DE MONTAULT, Le Costume et les usages eccl siastiques (Paris, l901); THALHOFER, Liturgik, etc.; ROHAULT DE FLEURY, La Messe, VII. Almost all works on the Mass, e.g. those of GIHR, MÜLLER, BENEDICT XIV, devote a section to vestments.
    Transcribed by Wm Stuart French, Jr. Dedicated to Rev. Lawrence Willis, O.S.B.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

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  • Cincture — Cinc ture, n. [L. cinctura, fr. cingere, cinctum, to gird.] 1. A belt, a girdle, or something worn round the body, as by an ecclesiastic for confining the alb. [1913 Webster] 2. That which encompasses or incloses; an inclosure. Within the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cincture — index border (bound), embrace (encircle), enclosure, encompass (surround) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • cincture — (n.) 1580s, from L. cinctura a girdle, from cinctus, pp. of cingere to surround, encircle (see CINCH (Cf. cinch)). The verb is recorded from 1757. Related: Cinctured …   Etymology dictionary

  • cincture — Cincture, Cindre, voyez Ceindre …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • cincture — [siŋk′chər] n. [L cinctura, a girdle < cingere: see CINCH] 1. the act of encircling or girding 2. anything that encircles, as a belt or girdle …   English World dictionary

  • Cincture — For the architectural element, see Architectural glossary. An Anglican priest wearing a white girdle around his waist to hold his alb and stole in place. The cincture is a liturgical vestment, worn encircling the body around or above the waist.… …   Wikipedia

  • cincture — /singk cheuhr/, n., v., cinctured, cincturing. n. 1. a belt or girdle. 2. something that surrounds or encompasses as a girdle does; a surrounding border: The midnight sky had a cincture of stars. 3. (on a classical column) a fillet at either end… …   Universalium

  • cincture — 1. noun /sɪŋk.ʃə/ a) An enclosure, or the act of enclosing, encircling or encompassing In one, dated eighteen years ago, he appeared, wearing only sandals and a cincture of vine leaves, between two classical garden statues. b) A girdle or belt,… …   Wiktionary

  • cincture — cinc•ture [[t]ˈsɪŋk tʃər[/t]] n. v. tured, tur•ing 1) a belt or girdle 2) something that surrounds or encompasses, as a surrounding border 3) the act of girding or encompassing 4) to gird with or as if with a cincture; encircle; encompass •… …   From formal English to slang

  • cincture — /ˈsɪŋktʃə / (say singkchuh) noun 1. a belt or girdle. 2. something surrounding or encompassing like a girdle; a surrounding border. 3. the act of girding or encompassing. –verb (t) (cinctured, cincturing) 4. to gird with or as with a cincture;… …  

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