Thursday, 24 September 2015

Costume Of Prelates Of the Catholic Church according to Roman Etiquette. By The Rev. John A. Nainfa S.S. Part 11.



In this Second Part, all the different pieces of the prelatical dress will be studied successively, each one furnishing the subject of a short and substantial chapter.

CHAPTER I. cont.

Article II.

Choir Cassock.

1. Its use.-2. Its Shape.—3. Pope.—4. Cardinals.—5. Archbishops and Bishops. — 6. Prelates di Mantelletta. —7. Prelates di Mantellone. — 8. Chapters.—9. Livery.—10. Religious.

1. The choir cassock is so called because it is worn by Prelates in choir, (a) at the public ceremonies of the Church. It may be worn also on some certain specified occasions on which a Prelate is called upon to vest in his choir habit.

2. The shape of the choir cassock, according to Roman etiquette, is almost the same as that of the ordinary cassock. The only exception is that the choir cassock has a train, which may be let down on occasions determined by the Ceremonial. (b)

The materials and colors of choir cassocks differ, and thus mark the different degrees in the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

3. The Pope, whenever he has to appear in his choir habit, puts on a cassock of white watered silk, over which, for ecclesiastical functions, "chapels," consistories, he puts the falda, a kind of large skirt of the same color and material. (c)


4. The choir cassock of the Cardinals is scarlet red at ordinary times; in penitential seasons, and on occasions of mourning, like the vacancy of the Holy See or when they attend a funeral; and rose-colored on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudate) and the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare). (d) Both the red and purple cassocks must be made of watered silk for summer, and of fine cloth for winter. (e) 

5. As is well known, the ordinary choir cassock of a Bishop is purple, with lining, cuffs and trimmings of crimson red silk. (f) But the cassock itself must be exclusively made of woollen material, as cloth in winter and merino in summer, (g) unless the Bishop has received the title of Assistant at the Pontifical Throne.
Choir Cassock
We say "the ordinary choir cassock" because, on penitential days and occasions of mourning, funerals, etc., the Bishop ought to wear a black cassock, trimmed with purple silk. (h) As already noted, this black choir cassock should not be mistaken for the every-day cassock, which, as was said in the preceding article, is black, without a train, and trimmed with red silk.

The days on which the Bishop may wear his purple cassock are indicated by the Ceremonial of Bishops, Book I., chapter II. (i)

As the black cassock prescribed for penitential days is not used by the members of the Papal Court, the Bishops who have been honored with the title of Assistants at the Papal Throne must wear, when actually living in Rome, their purple cassock, regardless of the paragraph of the Ceremonial of Bishops just alluded to. The only occasions on which they wear the black choir cassock in Rome, are upon the vacancy of the Holy See, (j) and on Good Friday.

6. All the regulations concerning the wearing of the choir cassock by Bishops apply to the Prelates di mantelletta; but, both in Rome and elsewhere, these Prelates always rank as members of the Pontifical Court and Household, and, as such, follow the same etiquette as is to be observed by the Assistants at the Pontifical Throne when in Rome, that is, they wear a purple choir cassock of silk in summer, and of fine cloth in winter, trimmed, like that of Bishops, with crimson red silk, without regard to the liturgical season; these Prelates being forbidden to wear mourning, except at the Pope's death, until the election of his successor, and on Good Friday. (k)

7. The Prelates di mantellone do not wear mourning at the Pope's death; because they are appointed for his lifetime only and lose their Prelacy at his death. Nor do they wear the penitential costume, for they belong to the Papal Court. Therefore, they make use of only one choir cassock of purple silk in summer, and of purple cloth in winter, as is prescribed for all members of the Pontifical Household. But their cassock differs from that of Bishops and of the Prelates di mantelletta inasmuch as it is without train, and is not trimmed with red, but with purple silk of a lighter hue than that of the cassock. (l)

8. Certain Chapters enjoy the privilege of wearing in choir a red or purple cassock. When such a privilege is granted by the Sovereign Pontiff, precise regulations accompany, the indult of concession as to the material, shape and color of the cassock, and the occasions on which it is to be used. It is the duty of the Ordinary to care for the exact observance of these prescriptions.

9. The purple cassock, which is worn as a livery garment, is made like that of the Prelates di mantellone. It has no train, and is trimmed with purple of a lighter hue.

10. Religious promoted to episcopal dignity or to the Cardinalate wear a choir cassock shaped like that of secular Bishops and Cardinals, but of the same color as the habit of the Order to which they belong; the cassock of the Franciscans being ash-colored gray, as already said. Members of religious Congregations, or Clerics Regular, vest like secular Prelates.

(a) The choir is the part of the church where the clergy seat when assisting at some church ceremony.

(b) Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 275.

(c) H. Fisquet, Ceremonies bde Rome, pp. 35, 44, 55, 191, 200... Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 275. Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 275.—Un Evique Suffragant, op. cit., p. 274.Lerosey (edition 1902, revised by A. Vigourel, S. S.), Abrege du Manuel Liturgique, Part V., ch. V., p. 602.

(d)  Ferrraris, Bibliotheca, Art. Cardinales.

(e) Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 275.

(f) Caer. Episc. I., iii., 1.

(g) Caer. Episc. I., i., 1.

(h) Caer. Episc. I., iii., 2.


(j) Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 276.—Grimaldi, op. cit., Ch. V.

(k)  Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 276.

(l) Ibid.—S. B. C, June 17, 1678—March 80, 1675—Sept 12, 1840— July 21, 1855.