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Amice

AMICE

A rectangular piece of linen used to wrap around the neck and shoulders of the wearer to protect the outer liturgical garments from being soiled by the face and neck. In medieval days, the alb was the first vestment to be put on. The amice was added as a scarf, part of which covered the head, keeping the hair in place until the stole and chasuble were put on and arranged properly. There was no common usage as to when the amice thus worn should be brought back off the head. Some removed it after putting on the chasuble; others kept it on the head until the beginning of the Canon of the Mass. When resting on the shoulders the amice was thought to look untidy. This problem was taken care of by the ornamentation of the upper edge with a band of stiff, rich material, or a narrow strip of embroidery that formed a collar called Aurifrisium or apparel. In the wake of the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, the use of the amice is no longer required.

Bibliography: e. a. roulin, Vestments and Vesture, tr. j. mccann (Westminster, Md. 1950). j. braun, Die liturgischen Paramente in Gegenwart und Vergangenheit (2d ed. Freiburg 1924); Die liturgische Gewandung im Occident und Orient (Freiburg 1907).

[m. mccance]

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