But in the ninth century, subdeacons and acolytes still wore both the planeta and the stole, although, to distinguish them from the deacons, priests, and bishops, there were definite limitations to their use of the latter vestment.
After the ninth century the stole is very frequently mentioned, and even then the manner of its use was essentially the same as today.
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The wearing of the stole by the bishop at Solemn Vespers is an exception; its use by a priest while preaching depends on local custom.
The stole is not a specific mark of parochial jurisdiction.
A small cross is generally sewed or embroidered on the stole at both ends and in the middle; the cross, however, is prescribed only for the middle, where the priest kisses the stole before putting it on.
There are no express precepts concerning the material of the stole, but silk, or at least a halfsilk fabric, is most appropriate.
The stole is worn by a bishop in the same manner as a priest, except that it is never crossed on the breast, as a bishop wears the pectoral cross.
As a mark of order the stole is used in a special ceremony, at the ordination of deacons and priests.For deacons and priests it is the specific mark of office, being the badge of the diaconal and priestly orders.The wrongful use of the stole by subdeacons, therefore, would imply the usurpation of a higher order, and would constitute an irregularity.The stole is first mentioned in the West in the sixth and seventh centuries (Synod of Braga, 563; Fourth Council of Toledo, 633; Gallican explanation of the Mass), but then as a thing which had long been in use.The earliest evidences of the use of the stole at Rome date from the second half of the eighth century and the beginning of the ninth.The use of the stole is also customary in the Oriental rites, in which, as in the West, it is one of the chief liturgical vestments (Greek, 6pdpiov, the deacon's stole, and irrrpa X~Xtop, the priest's stole; Armenian, urar; Syrian and Chaldaic, uroro; Coptic, batrashil).