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Rites and Rituals of the Coptic Orthodox Church

Dictionary of Coptic Orthodox Church Terms and Terminology

Girdle

 

* The girdle is a band of silk or linen embroidered with golden or silver crosses. Its use is nowadays restricted to bishops on certain ceremonial occasions, though in the past, it formed part of the liturgical vestments of priests and bishops alike. It is worn over the epitrachelion around the waist, with its two ends held together by means of a silver clasp.

* The girdle stands for the concept of virtue and piety: "Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist and faithfulness the girdle of his loins" (Isa. 11:5). It also symbolizes vigilance and watchfulness: "Let your loins be girdled and your lamps burning" Luke 12:35. It is associated with the leather girdle that St. John the Baptist wore round his waist (Matt. 3:4) and with St. John's vision of Christ "clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast" Rev. 1:13.

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