New Catholic Dictionary illustration of an albDerivation

  • Latin: albus, white


1) A full-length white linen vestment used at Mass, secured by a girdle; an adaptation of the tunic men wore at the time of its adoption in the 4th century. It is blessed before using. The alb symbolizes the garment in which Herod had Our Lord clothed, and the purity of soul with which the Holy Sacrifice should be offered. Putting it on the priest says: “Make me white, O Lord, and cleanse my heart, that, made white, by the Blood of the Lamb, I may be able to serve Thee.”

2) A white garment worn by newly-baptized persons from Holy Saturday until Low Sunday, called for this reason “Sunday in white.”

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “alb”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 November 2019. Web. 16 October 2021. <>