Biretta Etiquette for EF Baptism?


Hello, my daughter will be baptized in less than a month, and our pastor has not done an EF baptism since days of old. He has agreed to do it for our daughter, but I am making the preparations. Does anyone know when the priest wears/removes the biretta for the Rite of Baptism of Children?




I don’t believe it is used at all (said as one who has only seen two such baptisms). See here to look into it further.



Found it.

Google Books has a book from 1867
Notes on the rubrics of the Roman Ritual.
By James O’Kane

Go to page 169. You’ll have to read the rubrics very carefully as they’re not easy to follow.

Note also that the author uses the word “cap” so a word search for “biretta” won’t help.


That’s interesting. It seems the author does not point to an actual rubric but to another commentary-style work. I wonder if the use of the biretta was customary and not actually in red letters anywhere.

For what it’s worth, I asked an FSSP priest friend of mine and he said he’s never seen or heard of the biretta being used during baptisms done in the older Rite.



I think that’s the key point–what I underlined.

From what I can gather (and I never even thought about it until this thread) it seems that it was typically not worn at baptisms; hence no official rubrics, just principles.

I can see how it might be. The “rubrics” he provided do make sense, and he said that they’re based on when a bishop wears his mitre at baptisms. I can certainly see the “why” of the fact that the biretta was not usually used. I sort of imagined myself performing a baptism and donning and doffing the biretta and thought “that would drive me crazy.”

So, for the OP, it looks like texts such as these might be the only sort of rubrics you’ll find for the biretta at baptisms. The good news is that by not-wearing the biretta, at least it won’t seem as if he’s missing some authentic element. Of course, he might still wear it.


FWLIW, it would seem so to me, too. I had a look through the 1925 edition of the Rituale Romanum, and I didn’t see anything specific. OTOH, I also have a video (which is private so I cannot post it here) of a baptism in the Usus Antiquior where the priest does indeed don and doff the biretta quite frequently. But the video is interesting in this regard, since the priest is clearly referring to the text each time he dons and doffs, and he actually hesitated here and there before doing it. :slight_smile:


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