CHAPTER X. Cappa Magna.
1. Origin of the Name. —8. Description. — 3. Different Kinds. — 4. The Pope. —5. Cardinals. —6. Bishops. — 7. Religious Prelates. — 8. Use. — 9. Cappa of Canons.
1. "Cappa magna" literally means a large cope or cape. The word "cappa" is a term of low latinity, said to be derived from "capere" (quia capit totum hominem—"because it covers the whole person"), and was originally used by ecclesiastical writers to denote the pluviale or cope, as appears from Durandus and Honorius. (a)
There is no English word translating "cappa." The only proper word would be "cope," and, as a matter of fact, "cope" was derived from "cappa;" but since this word is reserved, in ecclesiastical terminology, for the liturgical vestment, which the Rubrics call "pluviale," it is necessary to have recourse to the foreign term "cappa."
2. The cappa magna is a large mantle with a long train. It is entirely closed, with the exception of a vertical opening over the breast, and completed with a furred cape closed in front, slightly opened at the back, and fastened at the back of the neck with a hook. (b) To the cape a hood is attached, the use of which is determined by the Ceremonial of Bishops. (c) When not in use, this hood is caught up on the right shoulder. (d)
In summer, the fur is removed, and replaced by a cape of silk of the same shape. (e)
Some tailors put armholes on each side of the cappa magna. This should not be done, as these slits are proper only to the mantelletta.
When the Prelate walks, he lifts up the fore part of the cappa magna over his arms; when seated, he lets it down, but may pass his hands through the vertical opening in front, if necessary.
3. There are two kinds of cappae, the one fully unfolded, the other folded and curtailed.
The former—the one above described—is the cappa which we are accustomed to see worn by a Bishop in his diocese. This cappa is a sign of jurisdiction and authority; therefore, it is worn by the Pope and Cardinals everywhere; by a Metropolitan Archbishop, in his province; by a Bishop, in his diocese. (f) When the Prelate is sitting, the vestment is fully unfolded and gracefully draped around him, "covering the whole person." Whenever the Prelate walks, the train of the cappa must be carried by a train-bearer. (g)
The other cappa, curtailed and folded, is worn by Bishops and certain Prelates di mantelletta when attending the Papal "Chapels," and also by Canons, to whom it is conceded by a special indult of the Pope.
This cappa has the same cape as the other; but the vestment itself is so curtailed that it is reduced to a wide plaited band hanging on the back and ending in a short train. This train, however, is never let down, for the flowing train is a mark of jurisdiction; it is lifted up, twisted and tied with a purple ribbon, with which it is suspended from the left side of the cape. Thus twisted and tied up, this train symbolizes a restricted jurisdiction, or absence of jurisdiction. (h)
Formerly there was no difference between these two cappae; this is why the regulations laid down for the use of the one apply also to the other.
4. The Pope's cappa magna is not white, as some may believe, but red. He wears it only when attending the Matins of Christmas, the Office of the Dead, and the Tenebrae. On Christmas night, his cappa magna is of red velvet, and of red serge for funeral services and Tenebrae. (i)
5. Cardinals wear a silk cappa magna dnring the entire year, except on Good Friday, when they shonld wear a cappa of woolen material. (j) Their cappa magna, red at ordinary times, is purple during the penitential season, on days of mourning, and when attending funeral services. (k) In Rome, Cardinals wear the red cappa magna in their titles and when attending the Papal "chapels," held in the Pontifical Palace. (l) Should the Papal chapel be held outside of the Pontifical Palace, etiquette would require that Cardinals wear the purple cappa magna.
When at Rome, Cardinals have a special train-bearer belonging to the "Confraternity of Train-Bearers." (m)
6. The Ceremonial of Bishops contains full information on the use of the cappa magna by Bishops. The episcopal cappa magna is exclusively made of woolen material and always purple, even in penitential season (ut sint [cappae] .... laneae et violaceae et non alterius coloris).(n) No custom authorizes the use of a silk cappa magna by a Bishop.
7. Cardinals and Bishops belonging to Beligious Orders are not allowed the use of a red or purple cappa magna.
Their cappae, made of woolen material, are of the same color as the outer part of the habit of their Orders. The cape is sometimes of ermine, namely, when the lining of the prelatial dress is white; but, as a rule, it is made of other furs, matching the color of the cappa, as those of the vicunia, otter, northern cat, or Russian blue fox. For these furs, silk of the same color is substituted in summer. (o)
Abbots who have the privilege of wearing the cappa magna ought to follow the same rules, unless this concession includes special regulations.
Bishops belonging to Religious Congregations or to Orders of Clerics Regular may wear the same cappa magna as secular Prelates. (p) Cardinals belonging to the same Congregations or Orders are not permitted to wear a silk cappa magna like secular Cardinals; but special and personal exceptions to these rules are often granted.
8. The Bishop must be vested with the cappa magna when he goes to the cathedral on feast days; and, where the cathedral is canonically constituted, having a Chapter, the Bishop vested in cappa magna has a strict right to be escorted by the Chapter as a body, and to have as assistants two Canons.(q) If he does not wear the cappa magna, he has no right to these honors. When vested with the mozzetta, he takes his seat in the first stall of the choir; (r) but, when he wears the cappa magna, he sits upon his throne. (s)
The hood of the cappa magna is used to protect the head from cold when the Prelate assists at Matins—a rather rare occurrence in our days—and, as a sign of mourning, when he goes to church, the last three days of Holy Week. (t) When giving his blessing from the throne, the Bishop covers his head with his biretta, or with the hood of the cappa, as a sign of authority. Another occasion, on which the hood of the cappa is used, is when the Prelate wears the pontifical hat, as this hat is not worn directly over the head, but over the hood of the cappa magna.
In Rome, at Papal "chapels" held in the Apostolic Palace, Cardinals wear the unfolded cappa magna; Bishops and certain Prelates, (u) the folded cappa; and the Prelates di mantellone, the special cappa described at the end of the preceding chapter.(v) As Cardinals are privileged to let down the train of the cappa magna in presence of the Pope, they have a train-bearer, whose duty it is not only to carry the train of the Cardinal's cappa, but also to hold his biretta, his breviary, papers, etc., when necessary. A Cardinal never wears his biretta in presence of the Pope, so the train-bearer holds it all the time at Papal "chapels." Those who wear the folded cappa at Papal "chapels" never let down its train, except on Good Friday at the adoratipn of the Cross; and, when these Prelates perform some liturgical function at the "chapel," they do not wear the cappa, but put on the cotta over the rochet; Bishops, who serve the Mass of the Pope, or receive holy communion from his hand on Holy Thursday, observe the same rule. (w)
9. Canons, who wear by privilege the cappa magna, are not entitled to wear the episcopal cappa. It is understood that the cappa conceded to Canons is the folded one; and they are never allowed to let down its train, except for the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday, as was mentioned for the Prelates attending Papal "chapels;" and, as regards the occasions on which to wear the cappa, they are expected to follow faithfully the terms of the indult. The cappa, with an ermine cape, is a winter garment, as was said; therefore, Canons should not wear it in summer, but should substitute the cotta for the cappa over the rochet, unless they have received the very explicit privilege of using a summer cappa, that is the same cappa with a cape of silk instead of fur, in which case they wear the cape of fur in winter and the cape of silk in summer. (x) Moreover, as the cappa is a choir ornament and not a liturgical garment, if a Canon has to perform ecclesiastical functions, or to administer some sacrament, he should leave aside his cappa and wear instead the cotta over the rochet. (y)
(a) Durandus Mimaten., Rationale divinorum officiorum, Book III., ch. i. n. 18.— Honorius Auqustodunun., Opera liturgica, Book I., ch. 227 (in Migne, P. L., vol. 172, col. 612).—Catholic Dictionary, art. "Cappa Magna."
(b) Levavasseurb-Haegy, Fonctions Pontificales, Tom. I., p. 439 (edition 1904).
(c) Caer. Episc. II., v., 1.—II., xxii., 3, etc.
(d) Formerly, the entire garment was lined with for in order to protect from the cold; about the thirteenth century, hoods assumed a cape form by being allowed to fall back on the shoulders, whereby the fur lining became outermost.
(e) Caer. Episc. I., iii., 3.
(f) Barbier de Montault, op. cit, Tom. I., p. 361.—S. R. C, Novemb. 22, 1643.
(g) The train-bearer (coudatarius) may be a Seminarian, or a member of the Prelate's household, or an altar-boy; but there should be only one. The Pope haying only one train-bearer, no other Prelate is entitled to have more. The dress of the train-bearer varies according to the different occasions on which he performs his duties. When accompanying a Cardinal to the papal "chapel," he vests in a purple cassock of silk, with trimmings and buttons of black velvet; he wean a purple silk cincture and a purple collaro; over the cassock, he puts the crocia, a surtout of peculiar shape, made of purple cloth or serge, lined and trimmed with purple silk. When the Pope officiates, the Cardinals vest in the sacred vestments of their orders—cope for Cardinal-Bishops, chasuble for Cardinal-Priests and dalmatic for Cardinal-Deacons; the train-bearers then put a cotta over the crocia, and throw on their shoulders the vimpa, a long humeral veil of light silk with which they hold the Cardinals' mitres. When a Cardinal officiates outside of the papal "chapels," his train-bearer does not wear the crocia, but the cotta over his purple cassock; and, when the Cardinal assists in cappa magna at a ceremony, the train-bearer wears over his purple cassock the ferraiolo of black silk. The train-bearer of the diocesan Bishop does not wear the crocia, which is a garment used only at papal "chapels;" but he wears the purple cassock with the black ferraiolo when the Bishop is vested in cappa magna, and the cotta over the purple cassock when the Bishop is dressed In his pontificals. In no case should he wear gloves or a biretta.—8. R. C, Aug. 2, 1608—Jan. 24,1660—March 13, 1770.— Martinucci, Manuale Sacrarum Ceremoniarum, Book V., ch. IV., n. 10.— Grimaldi, op. cit., ch. VIII., p. 115 (foot-note).
(h) Barbier de Montault, , loc. cit. —Fisquet, op. cit., passim.
(i) Un Eveque Suffragant, op. cit., pp. 845-846.
(j) Barbier de Montault, op. cit., T. I., pp. 861-862.
(k) On the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete) and on the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare), when Cardinals wear a church-dress of rose colored silk, they wear the purple cappa magna.
(l) A "chapel" is a religious ceremony performed or presided over by the Pope. When the Pope officiates, he has, as Assistant Priest, the senior Cardinal-Bishop; as Deacon, one of the Cardinal-Deacons; and, as Sub-deacon, one of the Auditors of the Rota.
(m) The train-bearers of Cardinals In Rome belong to a confraternity which has a Cardinal-Protector, and the prefect of which is the train-bearer of the Pope. They have charge of the church of San Salvatore in campo. — Barbier de Montault, Traite de la Construction, Tom. II., p. 581.— Grimaldi, op. cit, ch. VIll., p. 115 (text and foot-note).
(n) Caer. Episc. I., iii., 8.
(o) S. R. C, 1628.— Martinucci, Man. Caer., Book V., chapt. II., pp. 12-13. — Barbier de Montault, op. cit., Tome I., p. 266.
(p) Caer. Episc. I., iii., 4.
(q) S. R. C, Sept. 2, 1597—Jan. 13, 1646—Sept. 13, 1646—Jan. 12, 1647— March 22, 1862—March 22, 1894.— Caer. Episc., I., iv., 7.
(r) S. R. C, July 24, 1638.
(s) Caer. Episc. II., ix., 4.
(t) Caer. Episc, II., xxii., 8.
(u) These Prelates are, the Prelates di fiochetti, Protonotaries Apostolic, Auditors of Rota, Clerks of the Reverend Apostolic Camera, Referees of the Signature, and Ministers of the papal chapel.— Barbier de Montault, op. cit., Tome I., p. 377.
(v) H. Fisquet, Ceremonies de Rome, pp. 43, 138, 139, 198, 229, etc.
(w) Un Eveque Suffragant, op. cit., p. 18.
(x) Many decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites have been issued on this point.
(y) S. R. C, November 20, 1856, and many other decrees.