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A nabedrennik (набедренникъ -- "That which is upon the thigh," a thigh shield) is a vestment worn by priests in the Russian tradition, who have been awarded the right to wear it. It is a square or rectangular cloth worn at the right hip, suspended from a strap attached to the two upper corners of the vestment and drawn over the left shoulder.

The nabedrennik is worn only in the Russian tradition by bishops and those priests to whom it has been awarded by their bishop. It is never worn in the Greek tradition. The award is given "for long and dedicated service" to the Church.

The rectangular shape of the nabedrennik differs from the epigonation, which is diamond shaped. Both are believed to derive from the ancient knee guards which shielded the legs of warriors from being bruised by their swords. The Byzantine emperors used to award swords to their commanders and nobles; in the same way the Church awards priests who defend the faith. If the epigonation (Russian: палица, palitsa) is also awarded to the same priest, he wears both but shifts the nabedrennik to the left side.

See also


Wikipedia: Nabedrennik