From a deacon about to be ordained priest:
What would you consider an ideal size for an amice? If it helps, I use
46 L suits.
PS I will be ordained to the priesthood this upcoming Saturday 28th.
Would you remember me in your prayers?
Congratulations for your next step.
Ideal size for an amice?
To paraphrase an old saying, an amice, like a paragraph, is a bit like a lady’s skirt. It has to be long enough to cover the essentials and short enough to be interesting.
Seriously, the purpose of the amice is two-fold.
First, there is the spiritual significance. The vesting prayers traditionally recited by sacred ministers when vesting view the amice as a helmet, guarding against attacks of the Enemy. Therefore, it is draped over the head before it is lowered around the next.
Second, there is the practical purpose. Our “street clothes” (cassock included) are to be covered from view when we wear sacred vestments. This means that even our Roman, or “military” clerical collars must be hidden from view when we vest for Mass. The amice covers our street clothes. The amice also serves to keep our vestments clean.
I think the size of the amice in the graphic I included at the top is just about right for the size of the rectangular cloth. If the amice, when placed around the next, goes down to about your solar plexus, even if there is a gap in the neck of your alb, your cassock should be covered.
NB: be sure that the attached ribbons are long enough to pass, crossed, over your chest, around your back, to the front again and still have enough of the ribbons left to be able to tie them in a box knot.
So, the amice has to be large enough, the ribbons long enough, to cover the essentials.