The Mantle (Mantiya) is a monastic vestment, which covers the whole person
with the exception of the head. Its freely flowing lines typify
the wings of the angels; hence it is called are symbolical
of the all-embracing power of God; and also of the strictness,
piety and meekness of the monastic life. All monks, when present
at divine service, must be robed in their mantles. The peculiarity
of a Bishop's Mantle is that it is not black in hue, like
the monastic mantle, but of purple or some other color; and
upon it are sewn the so-called "Tables of the Law"
(Skrizhali), and, in particular, the "Fountains"
(Istochniki). The Tables (squares of embroidered velvet at
neck and foot) typify the Old and the New Testament, whence
the ministers of God should draw their doctrine. The "Fountains"
are ribbons, usually red and white in hue, sewn horizontally
round the Mantle, and represent the streams of teaching which
flow from the mouth of the Bishop.