In Brief

The "stole," a decorated strip of material several inches wide and seven to nine feet long, is a distinctive badge of the priest's office. Donning holy vestments before a ceremony, a priest kisses the middle of the stole and then puts it around the back of his neck, with the two ends hanging down his chest.

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Although Mulligan's ungirdled dressing gown does not cooperate in his apings of priestly actions, the narrative does assist him when he heads down to the swimming hole: "Buck Mulligan slung his towel stolewise round his neck." Hades affords a glimpse of the real thing as the "whitesmocked priest" enters the funeral chapel after the server, "tidying his stole with one hand."

John Hunt 2011
A priest's stole in Marian blue. Source: