A vimpa is a veil or shawl worn over the shoulders of servers who carry the miter and crosier in Catholic liturgical functions when they are not being used by the bishop. The vimpa is used to hold the miter or crosier, thus preventing direct contact with the pontificalia by anyone other than the bishop. The two vimpa-bearers attend the bishop during Pontifical Mass, and follow him in procession. Their function is to show the congregation that the person carrying the item (either the Mitre or the Crozier) does not have the authority of a bishop. The carrier of the Crozier also holds it in the closed position ie; crook facing towards them. The term is also used to refer to the attendants themselves. A vimpa is occasionally used in the Anglican liturgy when the crosier is carried before the bishop in procession.


The vimpa may take the form of a cape-like shawl or a many-pleated scarf, with a base colour of either white or silver. A vimpa can be a simple white/silver veil or can be fashioned with one or many liturgical symbols, such as crosses. The vimpa can hang on the mitre- and crosier-bearers' shoulders or be secured in the front by velcro, ribbon or even clasps.

Due to its form, many people often mistake the vimpa for a Humeral Veil which is used to hold the Monstrance. There is nothing wrong with a vimpa being fashioned like a humeral veil as long as it is not over done and follows important rules such as colour and design. Since it is only used at Pontifical Masses, a well-fashioned vimpa can stand out in the grandness of the celebration and appear spectacular when holding a mitre and crosier.

Other Uses

Although it is not advised, the vimpa may be used as a humeral veil if the circumstance calls for it. An example of this is when a humeral veil is either not able to be used or missing when one is required, such as on Holy Thursday or Corpus Christi, or during the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. However, this is a very unlikely scenario, since the vimpa is a rarely-encountered vestment, while every parish church should own at least one humeral veil.

See also


External links

* [ Catholic ceremonies]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • vimpa — ˈvimpə noun ( s) Etymology: Medieval Latin, from Old Italian vimpa, glimpla, from Old French guimple, wimple veil, pennant, wimple more at guimpe : a veil of silk worn over the shoulders and hands of acolytes carrying the crosier and the miter in …   Useful english dictionary

  • vimpa — /vim peuh/, n. Rom. Cath. Ch. a silk veil falling over the shoulders and extending down the arms and over the hands, worn by acolytes who carry the miter and crosier at a Pontifical Mass. [ < ML < Gmc; see WIMPLE] * * * …   Universalium

  • vimpa — vim·pa …   English syllables

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