German Liturgical costume. Albe 13th century.
A shirt or white linen garment reaching to the heels and folded round the loins by a girdle, formerly the common dress of the Roman Catholic clergy ; but now used only in sacred functions.
The albe (from Latin alba: the white) is a product derived from the ancient tunic, ankle-length gown of white or natural linen today. With reference to the old church and its tradition alb symbolizes the baptismal garment. Traditionally worn by Catholic priests as liturgical undergarment under the chasuble, alb is regarded today as the basic garment of all those who play a role in the worship service or provide a particular service, eg, readers, communion assistants.
Cologne, Schnütgen Museum. Albe, South Germany, 13th Century.