cassock cords

what are the cords called that are on the back of some cassocks? they usually are attached to the back waist area and and drapped over the fascia, and attached to the arm of the cassock. any idea what they are called/purpose?

I do not think I have ever seen what you are describing.

Can you provide a link to a picture?

as seen here

That is a sash. It comes in different colors. There is a Seminary in Mexico that along with Cassocks that wear the sash and the sash is blue colored.

Its called a Sash, Hope that helps!!

I think the OP is referring to the small chord that keeps the shoulder panel (yoke) down if a wind catches it. It is just a retaining cord and I don’t think there is a name to it. It attaches after the sash is wound about the waist and clips to a ring just inside the pocket.

(new to the catholic church, but am a life long love of the SCA [living history] and such clothing is common)

I believe it is a little cord that keeps the fascia–the silken or woolen waist sash–from slipping too far down. However, in the image provided by romancatholic 94, it seems like the bishop’s are a bit too long. Btw, those little slits are either pockets or access slits to the inner pockets if pants are worn underneath the cassock (which, imo, looks really awful and isn’t exactly an authorized form of dress).

Wait, why wouldn’t you wear pants under a cassock?

It’s a form of coat or robe, not a dress.

God Bless

Yes, why not wear pants/trousers? Where else can they keep a handkerchief?

:confused: The cassock is a piece of regular clothing. It looks very silly, imo, to wear visible pants underneath it. I think long johns would be okay, which are not able to be seen, but pants under a cassock is a bit… weird looking. They can store items under their fascia! That is what I would do with a money clip or keys or whatever. Or you can have a pocket sewn in the interior and pop a button open for access. Or store things in your biretta!

The cassock is not outerwear as far as I know. Perhaps breeches were worn under it in the past, but those would not have been seen.

Right, but it’s a coat substitute, not a pants/shirt substitute. Going back to ancient times, the cassock was a development of the Roman long tunic or toga. Romans wore pants under their tunics/togas.

I would find it weird to see bare legs under a cassock; unless you’re in a tropical country and shorts are indicated.

God Bless

No, it isn’t for that. If tied correctly the sash won’t slip.

I would find it weird to see pantlegs under a cassock; it just strikes me as unseemly and untidy. Long dress socks–which would be worn with pants or a cassock anyway–solve this problem. You’d never see legs under a cassock unless the cleric is wearing weird footy socks. I agree, that would be very odd.

Take Cardinal Burke for example:

I do not believe the cassock is a coat substitute, if coat substitute implies that pants are worn. I’d say a coat and pants is a cassock substitute. The Pian dress for bishops and cardinals (black piped cassock with or without cape) is a direct evolution, a casualization, of the choir dress, which until the 1870s or so was the everyday ordinary dress for bishops in churches and their residencies; in some places, when in public, an adaptation of the lay dress of the place was worn. The choir dress is a cassock, rochet and a mozzetta or mantelletta and/or sometimes a cappa magna. Pants are not and were not part of this. Similarly, by corollary, it strikes me that a priest wearing a cassock (virtually the same as Pian dress) with or without shoulder cape does not wear pants under it.

There is precedence in some places for priests to wear pants and shirt, and to wear cassocks only for Mass, and in this case they wear their cassocks over their pants or either completely change clothes, but it seems that wearing the cassock over the pants is just a local adaptation and is not envisioned by any official rules.

The Pope does not wear visible pants under his cassock; the only thing you can see is white socks.

I wear shorts and knee socks with my cassock when it’s warm out, and pants when it’s not. Personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable without some kind of sturdy cloth pants–whether cargo shorts or black slacks–underneath my cassock. It’s all a matter of personal preference. I’d imagine that nearly every seminarian and priest I’ve ever met who wears the cassock regularly would say the same thing. Sure, the style in the 18th and 19th century may have been one thing, but styles change–the goal of wearing a cassock is not historical accuracy so that we can participate in a reenactment of some kind, but rather to wear clerical attire. And if you get hung up on what is worn under the cassock instead of why the cassock is worn, you’re missing the point.


Yes, that’s quite right. :)Those who habitually wear a cassock as “house dress” do not wear trousers underneath. OTOH, they normally don’t wear 'long johns" either, but rather a type of full-cut boxers that are sometimes knee-length. (In French it’s called “calçon” … I’ve forgotten the precise Italian word but it’s similar.) And, of course, socks that rise at least mid-calf (some also use sock-garters to ensure that they stay in place). As a rule, those who habitually wear a religious habit (no pun intended) do the same. :slight_smile:

And for clarity’s sake I must mention that I didn’t mean to sound uncharitable with how I worded the end of my post. Sometimes a second reading shows a tone that wasn’t intended, and for that I am sorry.


I’m not sure where you come from, but this is very unusual to me. It is strange NOT to wear something under your cassock, as it IS a piece of outerwear. When serving I normally wear black slacks underneath, which are invisible not only because the cassock covers them all the way to my feet, but also because they are the same color as the cassock.

I have known people to wear other clothing under the cassock, in which case they just made sure it was long enough to cover everything underneath.

Well, for servers, of course it is very common to wear pants under the cassock. The rules governing what they wear are considerably more ambiguous and less technical than the rules governing what priests wear. I do think it would be odd for servers to not wear pants or something under their cassocks, unless one owns his own cassock. A priest’s cassock is (in principle) also his every day house dress.

My point isn’t so much about not wearing pants under the cassock as it is about not seeing what is worn under the cassock, unless it is socks. Although, as I have said, if the cassock is worn by a cleric as his everyday street clothes (house dress), it seems weird to wear pants with it anyway. The cassock is not, in principle, outerwear. It is not a coat, a cape, a sweater or a jacket. It is a full-body garment intended to be able to be worn in basically any condition within reason, functioning on its own or with a piece of outwear (greca or tabarro).


Yes, that’s definitely reasonable.

I really don’t understand why seeing a pants leg would bother you?

Socks are fine, but pants legs are bad? Seems totally a matter of taste.

God Bless

My question is mainly this: where are the rules governing what is worn under a cassock?


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