As a simple derivative of ordinary first-century clothing, it was adopted in the early Christian community and especially by the clergy for the Eucharistic liturgy. In Medieval Europe it was normally worn by secular clergies in non-liturgical contexts. The shortening of the clerical alb has given rise to the square neck surplice, and its cousin the rochet well, albs are worn by canons and bishops for their clergy services. Post-Tridentine alb often were made with liturgical lace and cotton fabric. In France, it is no longer in-vogue, but it has been officially approved in some tropical countries such as the Philippines. In the Roman Catholic Church, it was first adopted in France, though without official approval.
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