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Almuce

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ALMUCE, a hooded cape of fur, or fur lined, worn as a choir vestment by certain dignitaries of the Western Church (late Lat. almucia, almucium, armucia, etc.) . It was originally a head covering only, and the German word Midtze, "can," is de rived from it. The name of another vestment akin to the almuce —the mozzetta—has been by some traced to the word mutzen, to dock, cut off, through the Ital. ynozzare and mozzo (but see below).

In numerous documents from the I 2th to the I Sth century the almucium is mentioned, occasionally as identical with the hood, but more often as a sort of cap distinct from it; e.g., in the decrees of the council of Sens (1485)—non caputia, sed almucia vel bireta tenentes in capite. In the late 13th century two types of almucium were distinguished: (I) a cap coming down just over the ears; (2) a hood-like cap falling over the back and shoul ders. This latter was reserved for the more important canons, and was worn over surplice or rochet in choir. The introduction of the biretta (q.v.) in the 15th century tended to replace the use of the almuce as a head covering, and the hood now became smaller, while the cape was enlarged till, in some cases, it fell below the elbows. Almuces were occasionally made of silk or wool, but from the 13 th century onward usually of fur, the hem being sometimes fringed with tails. Hence they were known in England as "grey amices" (from the ordinary colour of fur), to distinguish them from the liturgical amice (q.v.) . By the i6th century the almuce had become definitely established as the distinctive choir vest ment of canons; but it had ceased to have any practical use, and was often only carried over the left arm as a symbol of office. It has now been almost entirely superseded by the mozzetta, but is still worn in certain cathedrals. The "grey amice" of the canons of St. Paul's in London was put down in 1549, the aca demic hood being substituted.

See du Cange, Glossarium, s. "Almucia"; Joseph Braun, Die liturg ische Gewandung, p. 355, etc. (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1907) ; also the bibliography to the article VESTMENTS.

century, fur and almucium