By the sub-committee of Convocation in their Report (1908) these vestments are wrongly classed as copes, i.e.
As for copes, in some places they were ordered to be worn, and were worn at the Holy Communion, 4 while elsewhere they were thrown into the bonfires with the rest.5 The difficulty seems to have been not to suppress the chasuble, of the use of which after 1559 not a single authoritative instance has been adduced, but to save the surplice, which the more zealous Puritans looked on with scarcely less disfavour.
The result was the issue in 1566 by the archbishop of the statutory Advertisements, which fixed the vestments of the clergy as follows: (1) In the ministration of the Holy Communion in cathedral and collegiate churches, the principal minister to wear a cope, with gospeller and epistoler agreeably; 6 at all other prayers to be said at the Communion table, to use no copes but surplices; (2) the dean and prebendaries to wear surplice and hood; (3) every minister saying public prayers, or ministering the sacraments, to wear "a comely surplice with sleeves."
5 See Machyn's Diary (Camden Soc. 42; London, 1848), p. 208, for St Bartholomew's day, 1559: "All the roods, and Maries and Johns, and many other of the church goods, both copes, crosses, censers, altar cloths, rood cloths, books, banners,.
Touching certaine copes, vestments, tunicles and such other Popishe stuffe informed by letter from the Dean of Lichefield to be within the cathedral churche of Lichefield; they.
Several are generally used at a time and without copes, as rats are fierce fighters.
Ordericus Vitalis, who died in the first half of the 12th century, mentions that the bishop of St Evroul, in Normandy, brought with him from Apulia in southern Italy several large pieces of silk, out of the finest of which four copes were made for his cathedral chanters.
This was until Charles II.'s time a regular rogation, the choristers in surplices, the gentlemen of the royal chapel in copes, and the canons and other clergy in copes preceding the knights and singing the litany.
(1760) the body was received at the door of the Abbey by the dean and prebendaries in their copes, attended by the choir, all carrying lighted tapers, who preceded it up the church, singing.
Scarlet copes with white fur hoods have been in continuous use on ceremonial occasions in the universities, and are worn by bishops at the opening of parliament.