CHAPTER XIV. Stockings.
1. There are two kinds of prelatical Stockings:
The ordinary stockings, worn by Prelates in their daily life, which are of a color significative of the Prelate's rank, and the liturgical stockings, worn by Bishops, and other Prelates having the privilege of the pontificals, (a) when they celebrate the solemn Pontifical Mass.
2. The ordinary stockings are knit of black, purple, red, or white silk, each Prelate wearing stockings that match the color of his choir cassock. Therefore, the Pope's stockings are white; the Cardinals', red; Bishops' and Prelates di mantelletta's, purple; other members of the clergy wear black. Prelates belonging to Religious Orders wear stockings of the same color as their cassocks.
Formerly, the color was changed, like that of the cassock, according to the liturgical season; but the present etiquette prescribes the wearing of the same color in stockings throughout the year. (b)
These stockings regularly cover the feet and the legs up to the knees, and are fastened above or below the knee with a garter; but, as it is very inconvenient to wear them under the "pantaloon," they may be substituted, in this country, by socks of the same material and color.
3. Purple or red stockings are, among the clergy, a mark of Prelacy. Therefore, no ecclesiastic who is not a Prelate has any right to wear other stockings than black; unless he has obtained a personal privilege, as is the case for certain Chapters in Europe. (c)
4. Though altar boys are vested in red or purple cassocks, they are not entitled to wear stockings of these colors under the pretext of matching the different parts of their church dress. If special stockings are given them for their functions in church, these stockings should be black. The same rule applies to all who wear a purple cassock as a livery-dress, including the Prelates di mantellone. (d)
5. Liturgical stockings are those prescribed by the Rubrics and the Ceremonial of Bishops for the celebration of Pontifical High Mass. (e) They differ from ordinary stockings, because they have preserved the antique form of stockings.
They are made of silk material, not knitted, but woven, and their color is the one required by the office of the day, white, red, green, or purple. (f) Such stockings are not used at Requiem Mass. (g)
All who, in virtue of their Orders, or by special privilege, are entitled to celebrate Pontifical High Mass, wear these stockings. Those of the Pope and Cardinals may be embroidered with gold. Those of Archbishops, Bishops, Protonotaries Apostolic di numero and supernumerary, are made of plain silk and bordered with a gold strip. (h)Those of the Protonotaries ad instar, of Abbots, Canons, etc., may be trimmed with a strip of yellow silk only. (i)
The Prelate, while vesting for Pontifical Mass, puts on these stockings over his ordinary stockings or socks, and has them fastened to his leg with a ribbon or silk string fixed at the top of each stocking. As nothing is prescribed concerning the height of these stockings, they may be made hardly higher than ordinary socks, which makes them easy to wear with the "pantaloon."
5. Cardinals, Prelates invested with the episcopal character, Abbots and the seven Protonotaries Apostolic di numero, put on the liturgical stockings at the throne or at the faldstool, while reciting the prayer "Calcea,Domine, pedes meos . . ." (j)
Prelates, Canons and other ecclesiastics who may have received the privilege of celebrating Pontifical High Mass, are not permitted to put on their liturgical stockings at the faldstool, but only in the sacristy. (k)
(a) The "pontificals" are marks of dignity that Cardinals and Bishops use when officiating at solemn High Mass. These are the stockings, sandals, ring, gloves, pectoral cross, mitre, crosier, tunics, hand-candlestick and gremial.— Cfr. Vigourel-Nainfa, A Synthetical Manual of Liturgy, pp. 57, 58.
(b) Barbier de Montault, op. cit., Tom. I., pp. 61, 62.—On Good Friday, Cardinals are directed to wear purple stockings, and all other Prelates, black.— Battandier, Annuaire Pontifical (1903), p. 361.
(c) S. R. C., April 11, 1840.—S. C, Bish. and Reg., 1848.—Brief of Gregory XVI., June 8, 1841, etc.
(d) Clement VIII. granted to the Prelates di mantellone the privilege of wearing purple stockings outside of Rome.
(e) Caer. Episc. I., 2.—II., viii., 7.—Rubric of the Missal.
(f) Pius VII.'s Const. Decet Rom. Pont (1823).
(g) Caer. Episc. II., xi., 2.
(h) Barbier de Montault, op. cit., Tom. II., p. 263.—Pius X.'s Const. Inter multiplices (1905), n. 27.
(i) Pius X.'s Const, cit., n. 47. •
(j) Rubric of the Missal.
(k) Pius VII.'s Const. Decet Rom. Pont. (1823).