religious dress

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religious dress

any attire, accoutrements, and markings used in religious rituals that may be corporate, domestic, or personal in nature. Such dress may comprise types of coverings all the way from the highly symbolic and ornamented eucharistic (Holy Communion) vestments of Eastern Orthodox Christianity to tattooing, scarification, or body painting of members of primitive (preliterate) societies. Some types of religious dress may be used to distinguish the priestly from the lay members of a religious group, or they may also be used to signify various orders or ranks within a priesthood. Some religious communities may require that religious personages (e.g., priests, monks, nuns, shamans, priestesses, and others) garb themselves with appropriate types of religious dress at all times, whereas other religious communities may only request that religious dress be worn during rituals.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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