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This is a long cloak used as a non-liturgical vestment (i.e. worn by clergy for services other than Mass). It should be semicircular and reach at least the knees (it may be nearly ankle length). It should be made from wool and may be lined in linen, silk or substitute. There should be some form of decoration along the base and the straight sides; this may be wool or silk in a contrasting colour, tablet braid or embroidery. As copes were frequently worn for outdoor processions, a hood should be added (a triangle of cloth, lined in contrasting colour, reaching more than shoulder width and attached to the straight edges so that it hands down behind but can be pulled up - modern academic hoods are a residue of the cope's hood).

The cope should be fastened just below the neck, with either a simple pin or brooch, or stitching at the neck line. Alternatively you can add a piece of fabric a hand-span in width and three fingers in depth to hold the two straight edges together. This 'morse' (also called 'St Augustine's Stitch') should be in contrasting colour and decorated.

Although decorated, copes were practical garments - cloaks for processions and services in cold stone churches. Because they had not specific liturgical significance (unlike the chasuble, specifically associated with Mass), copes were worn by all ranks of clergy and were the most common vestment. This means that your cope can indicate your status - a parish priest or minor cleric would have a relatively plain wool cope, lightly decorated (but with a warmly-lined hood!). An important priest, abbot or bishop would have an expensive and showy cope with a great deal of ornamentation in gold or silver thread. Bishops were entitled to celebrate Mass wearing a cope rather than a chasuble.

A cope is essential for anyone portraying a cleric, and a useful way to make your vocation and status apparent in the village as part of any acting scenarios.