Difference between Clergy Cassock and Choir Cassock


Hi, I need help. Anyone know the key difference between clergy cassock and choir cassock?


One can sit in choir wearing a cassock whether they’re clergy or not. A cleric sitting in choir should do so with a surplice, stole, and appropriate hat if so desired or required. They may also do so vested in Chasuble even if not concelebrating the Mass; a visiting Bishop may do this for example.

Choir dress is more or less the same as what the priest offering the Mass would wear without vestments (nor amice, alb, stole, maniple etc.).


I thought a chasuble was a mass vestment and mass vestments aren’t supposed to be worn if not concelebrating or celebrating mass.

Or am I mistaken?


I think this is true generally though I have attended a Mass in the Extraordinary Form where the visiting Bishop only offered the homily as well as assisted with communion and along with mitre was vested in a chasuble matching that of the celebrant, as were the Bishop’s two clerical attendants.


A bishop always has the preference to be the Celebrant. In this case when the Bishop defers the position of Celebrant, he is to be vested in a similar manner as the Celebrant unless he, again defers. While a crosier may only be used by a bishop who is the Ordinary of the dioceses unless given dispensation by that Ordinary, a mitre may always be worn. Within religious orders, a Father General, Delegation Superior, or Provincial Superior also has the right of deferral of the Celebrant like the Bishop and is vested in the same manner but simply does not wear the marks of episcopal office since he is (usually) not a Bishop.

I think it should be noted that there is a difference between clergy choir dress and cleric choir dress. In some Clerical Orders like my own, the use of minor orders are still used within the formation and as such the distinction between clergy and cleric still exists. Clergy are ordained and clerics are those who have taken vows who are in formation to the priesthood and who have already been ordained. Cleric choir dress is simply a habit or cassock with surplice, whether they are simply in formation or already priests. This can be for the Liturgy of the Hours or for clergy and clerics who are attending Mass within the choir and are thus not concelibrating. Clergy choir dress includes the stole and is for concelibrating clergy who may or may not be in the choir and for liturgical and sacramental functionary outside of the Mass like Baptisms, Rites of Committal, and non-sacramental blessings.

Concelibrating priests may wear the chasuble in the OF, but it must be plainer than the Celebrants and the stole is often worn over the plain chasuble instead of under. This is more common with large numbers of concelibrating priests to differentiate the principle concelebrants from those who cannot fit in the sanctuary.

The actual cassock (or habit) is usually the same whether or not in choir dress or not.


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