Academic Hood

An academic hood is a garment that drapes from the back and shoulder of the wearer, and signifies what advanced degrees are held (e.g., Master of Divinity, etc.) A hood is generally black, with the colored lining showing outward. The colors signify the degree area (e.g., Divinity). An academic hood is worn in church services when “choir dress” is worn. This comes from English cathedral practice, with choir dress consisting of cassock, surplice, tippet, biretta (for some), and academic hood.

The only time an academic hood would be worn at Grace would be at solemn Evensong (sung Evening Prayer).


An alb is a white garment worn as the base garment over a clerical suit or street clothes. It looks like a long loose gown and can be made to fit over the head or stepped into and buttoned (in which case it is a cassock alb). The alb (the name derives from the Latin for “white”) evolved from Roman underwear, but is worn outside of street clothing.

Ambry (sometimes aumbry or almery)

The word comes from the Latin “almarium” (place for keeping tools), and refers to a recessed and locked cabinet in the church wall in which holy oils are stored. (The Blessed Sacrament may be reserved in an ambry in the absence of a Tabernacle). In Grace the ambry is in the Sanctuary wall to the left of the altar (when facing the altar).


An amice is a white square cloth, with ribbons at two corners, which goes over the head and around the neck (rolled or folded), with the ribbons tied around the waist. It goes around the neck with the alb, and protects the stole from sweat.