ALMUCE, or Amice (0.
The almuce was originally a head-covering only, worn by the clergy, but adopted also by the laity, and the German word Miitze, " cap," is later than the introduction of the almuce in church, and is derived from it (M.
The word mutzen, to dock, cut off, which first appears in the 14th century, does not help much, though the name of another vestment akin to the almuce - the mozzetta - has been by some traced to it through the Ital.
The introduction of the biretta in the 15th century tended to replace the use of the almuce as a head-covering, and the hood now became smaller, while the cape was enlarged till in some cases it fell below the elbows.
Another form of almuce at this period covered the back, but was cut away at the shoulders so as to leave the arms free, while in front it was elongated into two stole-like ends.
By the 16th century the almuce had become definitely established as the distinctive choir vestment of canons; but it had ceased to have any practical use, and was often only carried over the left arm as a symbol of office.
The almuce has now been almost entirely superseded by the mozzetta, but it is still worn at some cathedrals in France, e.g.
The cappa of the Lateran basilica worn by the canons of Westminster cathedral, or the almuce worn, by concession of Pope Pius IX., by the members of the Sistine choir.
Amictus, from amicire, to throw or wrap round, the change of t to s being probably due to an early confusion with the aumuce: see Almuce), a liturgical vestment of the Western Church.