Attention all biretta lovers!


Birretiquette: If the Cassocks are different colours then what would the Biretta be like?

The Pontifical Scots College wear a purple cassock with crimson sash, buttons and pipings. Black soprana with pendant strings:

So, to those who know their Birrete… would that be a purple biretta with red piping, no pom (as they are seminarians - this is a custom) and black lining inside?

Give me some thoughts… I would like to know this!

In magnam fidem,

DeusSalusNostra :gopray2:

Clerics: Black Biretta (with black pom depending on preference, religious order or fraternity) - Seminarians, Deacons and Priests

Monsignori who are Prelates of Honor : Black Biretta with red or purple pom

Bishops: Purple Biretta with purple pom

Cardinals: Red (Scarlet or Crimson) Biretta with no pom

Pope: Camauro

Canons: Various (i.e Clergy of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest wear a black biretta with a blue pom except for the Superior who wears a blue biretta with blue pom in choir dress.)


What’s appropriate for Dominican priest?

A Dominican priest in habit has a hood for a head covering.

But what about in the context of celebration of the EF? Would the hood serve in place of the biretta? I’m friends with a couple priests who have entered as novices in a Dominican order, and I’m looking for good presents for when they make their final vows.

Their habit would serve in place of a cassock. The alb would be over it, and the habit’s alb would be pulled through it, so that it can be used. Dominicans don’t wear birettas.

Perhaps you can get a very nice set of the Summa Theologiae. :slight_smile: I’d love to have that.

Correct–Dominicans, like Benedictines, Franciscans and some others, also use the cowl of their habits. See the sacred ministers in this well-known video, especially when they sit at the sedilia.

Regular priests do not wear a biretta, whether they wear a habit or not, unless the constitution allows it. The biretta is a secular hat, not a regular hat.

For example, Jesuits, Oblates, Paulists and other regulars who have never had a habit, may wear a cassock. The use of the biretta is up to the constitution.

Regular priests who are monks, brothers, or friars would have a tunic with a cowl. The cowl is worn when the head needs to be covered. Usually, the alb would have a soft cowl that covers the habit’s cowl. The habit’s cowl lines the inside of the alb’s cowl. In the absence of such an alb, the cowl is simply worn over the vestments without an amice, so that it can be slipped on and off.

Thanks for the feedback, but I should have been clearer.

The Pontifical Scots College have “Roman College Cassocks” - the seminarians have their own kind of habit.

This is the Cassock. When attending a Liturgical Service in choro they put a surplice over that Cassock.

Basically, they have their own Choir Dress

My question should be, if we were to add a Biretta to that Choir dress, we would just follow the stylings of the Cassock yes?

**Pontifical Scots College Cassock: Purple cassock with red crimson sash, buttons and pipings.

Thus would the Biretta be: Purple Biretta (no pom, as is tradition for a Seminarian) red piping and red lining?**

They should not wear a Black Biretta, they wear a different coloured-cassock because that is a tradition of the College. So, I’m assuming the Biretta follows the stylings of the Cassock.

Let me know if I’m correct!

In Magnam Fidem,

Deus Salus Nostra (God, our Salvation)

IIRC, the biretta, for liturgical purposes, is only worn by clerics in Orders. It could be worn by seminarians not in orders as streetwear, but again IIRC, that would be unusual. the case presented is a Pontifical College in Rome, and for streetwear, the cappello romano (aka saturno) in simple, unadroned black would, I think, be more likely.

BTW, the pom is not necessarily a part of a biretta (at least those that are not part of a religious habit, and even then, it depends on the prescriptions of the Rule and/or Constitution). For example, in Brittany, the traditional biretta for secular clergy had a rather long, embroidered tassel instead of a pom.

Also, IIRC, clerical birettas in other than black are not worn except by hierarchs and members of certain Orders/Congregations where it is considered part of the habit. For example, the O.Praem (Norbertines) wear a white one, (to match the habit) and, again IIRC, at least some in the ICRSS (also Canons), including the Superior-General, wear a blue one (again to match the habit).

Looking back at this now, I realise that I got carried away. I seems that the Scots College would wear a Black Biretta/Black Roman Hat:


Thanks for everyone who contributed. I was just curious what the Scots College did with this kind of thing in times gone by.

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