One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A white robe put on a child at baptism, and used as its shroud if it died within the month.
winding sheet, grave clothes, burial clothes, cerementsView synonyms
- ‘This white vesture was worn for a month after the child's birth, and if it died before the expiration of that time, it had the chrisom for its shroud.’
- ‘It is said to depict a chrisom child, i.e., a chrisom is a child's white robe worn at baptism, used as a shroud if the infant dies within a month.’
- ‘Chrisomer literally means an infant buried in its baptism robe (chrisom).’
- ‘Though not required by the Protestant prayer book, chrisom cloths were still standard equipment, at least in the Elizabethan period.’
- ‘If the child died within a month of baptism, the chrisom-cloth was used as a burial shroud.’
Middle English: alteration of chrism, representing a popular pronunciation with two syllables.
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