In the Roman Church the alb is now reckoned as one of the vestments proper to the sacrifice of the Mass.
At the present day the Lutheran Churches of Denmark and Scandinavia retain the use of alb and chasuble in the celebration of the eucharist (stole, amice, girdle and maniple were disused after the Reformation), and for bishops the cope and mitre.
The growth of the lace industry in the 17th century hastened the process by leading to the substitution of broad bands of lace as decoration; occasionally, as in a magnificent specimen preserved at South Kensington, nearly half the vestment is thus Apparelled Alb in the South Kensington Museum.
At Rome, especially, where the popes had succeeded to a share of the power and pretensions of the Caesars of the West, the accumulation of ecclesiastical vestments symbolized a very special dignity: in the second quarter of the 9th century the pope, when fully vested, wore a camisia girdled, an alb (linea) girdled, an amice (anagolaium), a tunicle (dalmatica minor), a dalmatic (dalmatica major), stole (orarium), chasuble (planeta) and pallium.
The decree of the Congregation of Rites (May 18,1819) says nothing about apparels, but only lays down that the alb must be of white linen or hemp cloth.
The chief mountains are the Black Forest on the west, the Swabian Jura or Rauhe Alb stretching across the middle of the country from south-west to north-east, and the Adelegg Mountains in the extreme south-east, adjoining the Algau Alps in Bavaria.
Both the alb and its name are derived ultimately from the tunica alba, the white tunic, which formed part of the ordinary dress of Roman citizens under the Empire.
Originally only a choir vestment and peculiar to lower clergy, it gradually - certainly no later than the 13th century - replaced the alb as the vestment proper to the administering of the sacraments and other sacerdotal functions.
The stole is his obedience and servitude for our sakes; (3) the allegorical school, which treats the priest as a warrior or champion, who puts on the amice as a helmet, the alb as a breastplate, and so on.
It is the outermost garment worn by bishops and priests at the celebration of the Mass, forming with the alb the most essential part of the eucharistic vestments.