A part of liturgical dress that is handed to the deacon at the consecraction. During Mass the priest wears it on his left forearm. It's a band of metrial about three feet long and the same color as the chasuble. Its prototype was a mappa (like a handkerchief) carried by Roman patricians, so the maniple was originally the prerogative of the higher-ranking clerics.

Man"i*ple (?), n. [L. manipulus, maniplus, a handful, a certain number of soldiers; manus hand + root of plere to fill, plenus full: cf. F.maniple. See Manual, and Full, a.]

1.

A handful

. [R.] B. Jonson.

2.

A division of the Roman army numbering sixty men exclusive of officers, any small body of soldiers; a company.

Milton.

3.

Originally, a napkin; later, an ornamental band or scarf worn upon the left arm as a part of the vestments of a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. It is sometimes worn in the English Church service.

 

© Webster 1913.

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