[EDITED]Permanent Deacons in Formation wearing clerical dress?

Anyone else think its a bit sad that Deacons in Formation cannot wear their clerical dress including collar but a Seminarian can?



No, I don’t think it’s sad at all.

I don’t think it would be a good idea for a deacon to wear the same clothing as a priest, only because I think a priest should be identifiable so that people might be encouraged to approach him if they have need of confession or counseling. One of the deacons in my parish has a nice shirt that has a deacon symbol and the word ‘deacon’ embroidered on it. I don’t think most deacons or ‘deacons in formation’ would want to be mistaken for a priest. They have a complementary but different ministry.

I know it’s the custom in Rome for seminarians to wear clerical dress but didn’t know it was done in the US.

I don’t see it as a problem really. Permanent deacons can freely wear the clerical collar after ordination as they are a validly ordained minister. wearing it before ordination is, to my mind, less of an issue.

In our diocese deacons are not allowed to wear clerical dress at all.

Yes it is the custom. In the US, Seminarians in the their “Theologate” years ( the time where they have completed their bachelors level work and are now doing graduate level studies for the M.Div) wear clericals.

That’s true in our diocese - for permanent deacons. Transitional deacons wear clericals.

I know that’s the old custom, but a lot of places don’t do it anymore. I’ll be at Saint Meinrad in August, Lord willing, and they do not wear clericals until ordination to the diaconate. (In fact, even when serving at Mass, they wear an alb and cincture, not cassock and surplice.)

We had a seminarian in our parish last summer and at Mass he always wore a cassock and surplice – in a parish where the priests are hardly ever seen wearing clericals. Most people called him “Father” and most were convinced he was a priest – he wasn’t even an Instituted Lector yet. I thought it was nice to see cassock and surplice at Mass, something I hadn’t seen at any Mass I’d attended in about 40 years, but it was very confusing for some people.

He took it upon himself to make regular hospital & prison visits (and even to the tattoo parlor) dressed in black pants and white shirt that made him look very ‘priestly’, if you know what I mean. Folks didn’t always seem to make the distinction between seminarian and priest.

I know that his wearing the cassock at Mass made some people angry because they felt he was pretending to be something he wasn’t and they felt it was unfair to the people to confuse them like that. I just thought “How sad it is that a seminarian is regularly mistaken for a priest and the two priests who serve in this area couldn’t be identified as such by anything they wear.”

they where what the bishop tells them to wear
what I do find is odd is what PP notes, priests not wearing clerical dress in public

Deacons wearing clerics in formation? How about let’s start with bishops permitting Deacons to follow Canon Law and wear clerics AFTER their ordination! In our Diocese young college kids who are years and years away from POTENTIAL ordination wear clerics even though they are not clergy, while men who have been ordained Deacons and are clergy are not permitted to wear the clothes of the clergy.

The “confusion” argument doesn’t fly since seminarians wear the Roman collar, and many Dioceses around us have their Deacons wear clerics whenever in ministry, but of course not required in their regular jobs (unless a ministry position.)

It’s interesting that while in Rome and other parts of Italy I was told to wear the Roman collar. I met Deacons from other states at the Papal Audience who told me that their Sec. for Clergy told them the very same thing. I found out that it’s because the Holy Father wants his clergy to be dressed as clergy, and not with the artificial segregation that some bishops in the U.S. seek to maintain between their priests (clergy) and deacons (clergy).

Sadly, the preclusion of the Roman collar for ordained deacons is only one of the markers of such clericalism by such bishops and priests against validly ordained and hard-working, sacrificing deacons. I wish people really knew what goes on behind the scenes in the Church in the U.S.

Wow, that is really, really sad. A deacon, is a deacon, is a deacon! whether transitional or permanent he is a deacon! he should be allowed to wear clericals. In my parish both of the permanent deacons wear clericals when involved in parish ministry. Canon Law states that the clerical state begins with ordination to the diaconate (cf. Can. 266 §1.) so I don’t understand why this distinction is made in the US.

Canon Law rules in the Deacon’s favour. He may wear clericals after Ordination if he should so desire.

Rulings from Bishops cannot supersede Canon Law.

Wow. What a terrible situation to be in. Deacons are clerics, and they may wear clericals if they so desire.

Our diocesan seminarians often wear cassock and surplice when serving here in the diocese. I intend to get my own cassock, surplice, and collar as soon as I can!

I was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in January for the Vigil Mass for Life. I wasn’t a seminarian yet, but it was awesome to see hundreds of seminarians vested in cassock and surplice!

You may be technically right, but deacons also promise obedience to their bishop, and in my diocese - and in many other US dioceses - the bishops have said “no collar,” and made it an issue of obedience. I wish it were otherwise.

A related issue is when deacons are told by their pastors NOT to wear dalmatics at Mass, even if they have their own.

I would definitely go to the Bishop if my pastor told me not to wear a dalmatic if one were available. If the pastor cannot understand that the rubrics clearly state that the dalmatic is the proper vestment of the deacon for Mass, then the bishop must intercede to help him to understand. I never did understand wearing only an alb and stole if dalmatics were available. Are we not to give God the best we can? And I see no difference in giving God our best for daily Mass v. Sunday Mass. It’s the same sacrifice re-presented at each and every Mass. I want to always give God my best in my dress, in my proclamation of the Gospel, and in all other functions during Mass. God certainly deserves it, as do His people!

Exactly. Not to mention that RS 125 says that it’s praiseworthy not to omit the dalmatics. It does not say “It’s praiseworthy, but don’t worry about it on week days.”

Honestly, I see no reason to omit the dalmatic. Why would you want to?

I completely agree and hold that obedience and fidelity is perhaps the greatest gift a cleric can give to his Bishop.

I agree with what you are saying. However, I was talking about prior to Ordination.

Let me clarify something:

Im talking about PRIOR to ordination.

In Australia seminarians get around in clerical dress outside of liturgy and i am curious why deacons in formation cant do the same? A seminarian who is not a transitional deacon is on the same playing field as a person who is in formation for diaconate, they are just your ‘average joe’ undertaking theological studies. so why then does a seminarian get the gear and not the formative deacon?

Ive actually heard some clerics comment at mass “they are just the same as seminarians, why dont they do it?” i think that there still is the big divide issues inside the clergy. the deacon vs priest thing.

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