How to identify a visiting bishop?

At daily Mass this morning, I was the reader (my second time). The sacristan and I were in the sacristy; he was getting things set up for Mass (one of our priests was scheduled as celebrant) and I was arranging the sacramentary and lectionary and our book of general intercession prayers. Into the sacristry walks this gentleman whom I’d never before seen. To both I and the sacristan, he was obviously a priest…he just carried himself that way. We both automatically called him “father,” introduced ourselves, and asked him if he was concelebrating. He introduced himself as Bishop N. :eek: Of course, about five mintues later, in comes our rector and two other of our priests.

He was wearing an off-white, non-cotton shirt with a high, stiff collar (but not a Roman collar), a black suit jacket and black pants. He had a huge silver cross (may have been a crucifix but I didn’t want to stick my nose in his chest) on a chain around his neck. Did we miss some (unknown to me) identifying sign? Maybe the cross was a pectoral cross? He did put this cross outside his chausble after vesting.

Turns out he is from Kenya. Isn’t it cool that a bishop from Kenya could just walk into your sacristry and celebrate Mass–guess that’s why it’s the universal Church! :smiley:

outside of Mass, it would be hard to spot a Bishop. yesterday our Bishop was at our parish to install our new pastor. during the reception after the Mass, he was wearing the same exact thing as our priest.

Well if he doesn’t dress like a Bishop then you cant really be expected to know so I wouldn’t worry about it, checking his right hand for a ring though might be an idea and yes what you describe does sound like a pectoral cross.

Shouldn’t they all have to carry around a crosier? I mean, they are probably getting up there in years, they could lean on it, use it as a walking stick. Then everyone would know who the bishops are. :smiley:

But, yes, it is cool that our church is universal to such an extent. I love it!

I’m guessing that a visiting bishop would not carry the crozier, which is a sign of episcopal authority in the diocese. His street clothes suggest the kind of “creativity” that is too much in evidence these days. A man wearing a Roman collar in street clothes may as well be Episcopalian or Lutheran, even sometimes Methodist. Sometimes Episcopal priests and bishops wear a rabat vest with a wider “cut” in the collar than the approximately 1.5 inch cut on the Roman colar. Their cassocks have a wider opening or “cut”.

So you can’t tell. One good indication is that a man wearing a “dog collar” is probably Episcopalian or Lutheran, since few Roman Catholic clergy wear this. If the man is wearing a somewhat snazzy suit, or a Navy blazer, he probably isn’t Roman Catholic. If its a woman, well…makes it easier at least…

You can spot a bishop, even in “street clothes”, by the fact that he only moves diagonally.

Gwen never said the Bishop was wearing street clothes, and they quickly identified him as a priest. so surely he’s wearing at least a cassock or a clerical shirt and black pants

lol :d

By “street clothes” I meant a suit with clerical shirt.

thanks for clearing that up :thumbsup:

by street clothes, i understand it as casual clothing

The pectoral cross (the big cross on a chain he wore around his neck) is a dead giveaway. All bishops wear one, except when not wearing clericals (like on the golf course or at the gym). Sometimes they wear the cross tucked into a side suit pocket so you will see the chain diagonally across his chest

:clapping: Bravo

His suit was very clerical looking, but no Roman collar. Maybe they wear different clerics in Kenya?

The pectoral cross would definitely be a big give-away, that is, if he has one, the man is probably a bishop, especially if you already “know” he is a priest.

Good one Watchman!! to go off on a tangent, (for you chess players out there), what do you value more, the horse or the bishop? I would rather have my bishop rather than the horse sacrified. The horse has greater maneuverability, whereas if you play it right, you can neutralize an opponents bishop with an obstucting pawn.

not if your playing against those womenpriests. their queens and bishops are interchangeable :shrug::smiley:

Usually, it is the pectoral cross, since many bishops ordinarily wear the black (white for tropical countries) suit/cassock. Diocesan priests (unless they are VERY old *) cannot wear the pectoral cross and it does not form part of the habit of most religious orders and congregations. Perhaps the only other priests you may see with a pectoral cross will be abbots.

Of course, if the man is wearing a purple skullcap (zuchetto, solideo), then he is a bishop. No other cleric can wear it.

  • this is not to say that old priests have the right to a pectoral cross. However, around 40-45 years ago, certain priests, as a mark of distinction, were given the right to wear a pectoral cross at certain times. This has since been abolished, but all the priests who possessed the right then could still keep it until their deaths.

Why does everything have to be declared into an “innovation” or some kind of Novus Ordo conspiracy or chalked up to “creativity.” Please research or have some knowledge of what you are writing about before you make such pronouncements.

It has been discussed in this forum before: priests and prelates in the hotter parts of the world (Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, for example) wear white instead of black. If you have ever watched any papal visit to any of those places, prelates wear white cassocks with red/violet/etc. piping instead of the black.

As to the “dog collar”…Fr. John Trigilio (who wears them) once said on “Web of Faith” on EWTN that that collar is the original “Roman collar” and is more common in the rest of the world. The tab collar that we are more used to seeing in the United States is an American thing.

OK, now that is funny!

Our visiting bishop celebrated 7 a.m. Mass with us again today.

  1. He did not move diagonally. :stuck_out_tongue: He seemed very straightforward.

  2. It was a pectoral cross, really a crucifix.

  3. He was wearing the purple skullcap, but not in clerics, only while vested.

  4. Today he wore a Roman collar of the type we’re familiar with.

Apparently, he’s visiting relatives; several of them were at the Mass. After the “Mass is ended, go forth etc.” these relatives broke into song and them words weren’t English. The song was obviously a hymn, it was quite beautiful. Might’ve been the Ave Maria in whatever Kenyans speak? Swahili? The bishop broke into a huge grin when they started singing.

World culture comes to downtown hicksville, Nevada :smiley:

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