Normally hidden under the dalmatic, the deacon’s stole is different in appearance to that worn by a priest or bishop and it is worn differently. Whereas a priest or bishop will wear theirs around their neck and hanging down in front of them, a deacon will wear his over his left shoulder and fastened by his right hip with the remainder hanging down by the right leg. It is possible to use priest’s stole if a purpose made deacon’s stole is not available. It is just fastened with a safety pin. It is said that this manner of wearing the stole evolved from the desire to keep the deacon’s right arm free to assist the priest if required
As with the other vestments, the colour of those of the deacon is governed by the season or feast being celebrated.
It is also the mark of his ordained ministry as a deacon and along with the dalmatic are the standard vestments of the diaconate.