I was watching this video on the web (
and I noticed that the priest was not wearing a biretta. In all of the TLMs that I have gone to, all of the priests wear a biretta. Is this a SSPX thing? It just confused me. I thought it was required to wear a biretta in the 1962 rite.

It seems to me that when we started moving towards the NO in 1964 with the hybrid Mass that both vestments and biretta began to change. I can remember serving low Mass in the rectory with Father in 1964 and I don’t recall him wearing the biretta. Of course, ours was a new parish with the church being built.

Prior to that, yes, the biretta was used. I’m not certain it has any circumstance one way or the other.

One thing to consider is that not all priests have birettas. One of the traditional retired priests that says our TLM has one. Some of the other, younger priests, who take turns saying our Mass don’t have one. I am sure they would use it if they had one.

I don’t think it was ever really required. It’s not really part of the Mass but most priests wear it before and after, some don’t. Maybe it’s an SSPX thing, too, now that you mentioned it.

SSPX thing.

I believe it was a concession by Leferbvre with Rome.

When my grandmother was on her death bed in January of 1965, the Redemptorist priest came from the parish to give her extreme unction. Father wore a black cassock with the large Redemptorist crucifix in his belt but he did not have a biretta on. My brother and I served at my grandmother’s Requiem Mass in January 1965. Father’s vestments were still black but I honestly cannot recall him having a biretta on either in church or at graveside. Yet I can remember serving as an altar boy at other Requiem Masses and burials where Father did wear a biretta.

Maybe I need to start a thread about exactly what us babyboomers remember of the change.

I thought it was required to wear a biretta in the 1962 rite.

The 1962 rubrics say “Postremo sacerdos accipit planetam et, convenientur, caput tegit.” I would guess so.

I don’t think it was ever really required. It’s not really part of the Mass but most priests wear it before and after, some don’t.

Indeed the biretta was required. The portion of the rubrics to the Tridentine missal called Ritus Servandus provided the precise instructions as to the details of ceremonial. This was found in the front of every altar missal. Section II states that the priest was to have his head covered when approaching the altar and number two of that section specifically directs him to hand his biretta to the server:

Cum pervenerit ad Altare, stans ante illius infimum gradum, caput detegit, biretum ministro porrigit, et Altari, seu imagini Crucifixi desuper positæ, profunde se inclinat.

(“When he arrives before the altar, standing before the lowest step, he uncovers his head, and hands his biretta to the minister. He then makes a profound bow to the altar or to the image of the crucifix above it.”)

Then I stand corrected. :o

Then you would think that the SSPX would follow the rules. Although, as we all know, they have been disobedient.

If you can’t do the time, you don’t do the crime…

Oh wait, wrong one :slight_smile:

That’s Baretta not Biretta :slight_smile:

As have many innovators. Which is worse?

Mirror worshipping took place on both sides. I rail against both.

They’re both bad–whose pains will be worse if judged mortally culpable? That would depend on the amount of unlawful innovation.

As for Birettas at indult (non-FSSP/ICRSS, non-separated/irregular) I’ve seen it about half and half, and I’ve been to a lot of diffrent places and seen a lot of priests offer it. I’m sure the groups who’s charism is to offer the old rites wear it more often.

Those whom the French bishops don’t like. :rolleyes:

Please stay on topic. Thank you.

Speaking of covered (or not) heads, there an interesting biretta in connection with that. In 1621, Paul V granted an indult to missionaries in China to keep the head covered during the Mass because it was scandalising the Chinese (who were only used to vagabonds and criminals not having their heads covered :hmmm: :wink: :smiley: )

But they were ordered to use a different biretta so they designed a 4 sided one to represent the Heavenly Jerusalem with gold embroidery and whatnot to mark out the foundations and 12 gates. Now that is fancy headwear!

Our priest (50y/o) has a biretta and he uses it once a year at Christmas (NO Mas).

I am thinking to get one for a newly ordained priest in our diocese once the MP is made public next week. He is very good at chanting in Latin and I am sure he could learn to celebrate the TLM quite fast.

Most SSPX priests wont wear the biretta. However, you will usualy see the FSSP and ICRSS priests wearing it.

The indult Masses in my diocese are said by Benedictine priests. They wear birettas.

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