“Lord, gird me about with the cincture of purity and extinguish my fleshly desires, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide within me.”
(Vesting prayer while putting on the cincture).
This is the long, thick, white, ‘rope’, usually with elaborate tassels at the end that Father Paul wraps around himself after he has put on the alb. It is usually long enough to encircle the most rotund of priests a couple of times. Its practical purpose is to keep the stole and alb in place during the celebration of the Mass – and it is very useful if you have a very long alb and a very short priest!
Occasionally, during the Mass, the end of the cincture will come loose and drag along the floor. If you are the Mater of Ceremonies and notice this, discretely mention it to the priest at a convenient moment so that he can ‘repair the damage’.