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a loose-fitting white ecclesiastical vestment with wide sleeves

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We entered the quiet and humble temple; the priest waited in his white surplice at the lowly altar, the clerk beside him.
The old man, still clad in his surplice, burst into such a string of foul oaths as I have never heard, and pulled out a revolver of his own, but, before he could raise it, he was looking down the barrel of Holmes's weapon.
The old reprobate with the surplice burst into a volley of bad language.
The other exhibited him at full length, adorned in his surplice.
They would look upon it as a snare of the tempter; and I know that in my own case I only began to be shocked at the blackness of my nails the day that I began to lose the first whiteness of my soul by falling in love at fifteen with the parish organist, or rather with the glimpse of surplice and Roman nose and fiery moustache which was all I ever saw of him, and which I loved to distraction for at least six months; at the end of which time, going out with my governess one day, I passed him in the street, and discovered that his unofficial garb was a frock-coat combined with a turn-down collar and a "bowler" hat, and never loved him any more.
I dreamed that I was standing inside the communion rails of a church--I on one side of the altar-table, and the clergyman, with his surplice and his prayer-book, on the other.
Little Dorrit's old friend held the inkstand as she signed her name, and the clerk paused in taking off the good clergyman's surplice, and all the witnesses looked on with special interest.
Immediately afterwards, the clergyman appeared: putting on his surplice as he came along.
Maybe we will have Jaffa Cakes and Coca Cola instead of bread and wine at Holy Communion" - The Rev Giles Fraser, a Thought for the Day contributor, rails at suggestions that clergymen may abandon surplices and dress down in the pulpit.
Then I realized the underlying reality of this dramatic scene: One hundred fifteen male cardinals, decked out in long, flowing red habits, lacy surplices and three-cornered hats, was reminiscent of a monarchical court of several centuries ago.
We love the chasubles, surplices, cassocks, cowls, capes, habits, birettas, and miters our clergy wear, and we have long enjoyed watching them parade in public while sporting these various costumes.
They came down on a bus and were on set; they brought photos and examples of their wimples and surplices - and they gave practical advice.
Our picture on the right was taken back in 1980, and show how there was a controlled scramble as the boys get into their surplices and collars ready to troop out ot the choir stalls of St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle on May 26, 1980.
When I see his boys and men, in their red cassocks and white surplices, processing down the aisle towards the altar, I don't see the last gasp of an ancient tradition, but the forming image of a phoenix rising from the ashes of political correctness, child abuse, and an indifferent century.
I have strong sensual memories of the smell and heat of beeswax candles; pungent incense smothered in spices and drifting upward to fill a sanctuary, even an entire church; the brittle starch of white surplices and stiff collars; the heft of ceremonial books bound in red leather; and statues of Jesus and Mary and a seemingly infinite array of saints.