/kas"euhk/, n.
1. a long, close-fitting garment worn by members of the clergy or others participating in church services.
2. a lightweight, double-breasted ecclesiastical coat or jacket, worn under the Geneva gown.
3. a member of the clergy.
[1540-50; < MF casaque, perh. < a Turkic word akin to the source of COSSACK]

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      long garment worn by Roman Catholic and other clergy both as ordinary dress and under liturgical garments. The cassock, with button closure, has long sleeves and fits the body closely. In the Roman Catholic church (Roman Catholicism) the colour and trim vary with the ecclesiastical rank of the wearer: the pope wears plain white, cardinals black with scarlet trim, archbishops and bishops black with red trim, and lesser clergy plain black. In choir and church ceremonies the pope wears a white silk cassock; cardinals wear scarlet, except in penitential seasons when they wear purple; and lesser clergy wear plain black.

      The cassock, though part of the canonical costume of the clergy, is not a liturgical vestment. It was originally the out-of-doors and domestic dress of European laity as well as clergy, and its survival among the latter when the secular fashions had changed is merely the outcome of ecclesiastical conservatism. In mild weather it was the outer garment; in cold weather it was worn under the tabard (a tunic with or without short sleeves) or chimere (a loose, sleeveless gown); sometimes in the Middle Ages the name chimere was given to it as well as to the sleeveless upper robe. In winter the cassock was often lined with furs varying in costliness with the rank of the wearer, and its colour also varied in the Middle Ages with ecclesiastical or academic status.

      In the Roman Catholic church the cassock was traditionally worn by the clergy whenever they appeared, both in ordinary life (except in Protestant countries) and under their vestments in church. In the Church of England the cassock, which with the gown is prescribed by a canon of 1604 as the canonical dress of the clergy, has been worn by the clergy since the Reformation. It has long ceased, however, to be the everyday walking dress of either Catholic or Anglican clergy and is now usually worn only in church, at home, or more rarely within the precincts of their own parishes.

      In the Eastern church the cassock's equivalent is called a rhason.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cassock — Cas sock, n. [F. casaque, fr. It. casacca, perh. fr. L. casa cottage, in It., house; or of Slavic origin.] [1913 Webster] 1. A long outer garment formerly worn by men and women, as well as by soldiers as part of their uniform. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cassock — (n.) mid 16c., from M.Fr. casaque long coat (26c.), probably ultimately from Turk. quzzak nomad, adventurer, (the source of COSSACK (Cf. Cossack)), from their typical riding coat. Or perhaps from Arabic kazagand, from Pers. kazhagand padded coat …   Etymology dictionary

  • Cassock — A long, close fitting garment, worn by clergymen, church choristers and others, under the surplice. Also a soldier s long overcoat. Known in 1367 in Henry VIII s time. Made of velvet and various cloths. Also mentioned as a garment for women, made …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • cassock — ► NOUN ▪ a long garment worn by some Christian clergy and members of church choirs. ORIGIN Italian casacca riding coat …   English terms dictionary

  • cassock — [kas′ək] n. [Fr casaque; prob. < Turk qazaq, nomad, adventurer (> Russ kozak, COSSACK); in allusion to their usual riding coat] a long, closefitting vestment, generally black, worn as an outer garment or under the surplice by members of the …   English World dictionary

  • Cassock — Not to be confused with Cossack. The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers… …   Wikipedia

  • cassock — [16] Etymologically, a cassock is probably a cloak worn by a Cossack; the two words appear to be ultimately identical. Cassock, which originally meant simply ‘cloak’ or ‘long coat’ (its current application to clergymen’s tunics arose in the 17th… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • cassock — [16] Etymologically, a cassock is probably a cloak worn by a Cossack; the two words appear to be ultimately identical. Cassock, which originally meant simply ‘cloak’ or ‘long coat’ (its current application to clergymen’s tunics arose in the 17th… …   Word origins

  • cassock — UK [ˈkæsək] / US noun [countable] Word forms cassock : singular cassock plural cassocks a long loose piece of clothing, often black and covering the whole body, traditionally worn by some priests …   English dictionary

  • Cassock —    A long black coat, fastened in front and reaching to the feet, worn by the clergy with or without robes and signifying separation from the world. The cassock is also worn by choristers and choirmen under their surplices …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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