HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A History Of The Mass And Its Ceremonies In The Eastern And Western Church -Rev John O'Brien A.M.

The Cassock, called in French Casaque, but more commonly Soutane, is that long outer black garment worn by priests in every-day life and at all the sacred functions. It is called in Latin Vestis talaris, from its reaching down to the feet. With many of the religious orders it is called the habit, and instead of being buttoned in front, as is the case generally with the secular clergy, it is fastened to the person by a large cincture.

In ancient times the Cassock used to be known as the Pellicea, or Pelisse, partly from the fact that it used to be made of the skins of animals, and partly also because in most cases it used to be lined with fur. Hence the origin of the word surplice—something worn over the Pelisse (Kozma, 49).

Color of the Cassock.—The color of the Cassock varies with the rank of the person and the religious order to which he belongs. Cardinals wear one of red generally, but during seasons of penance and mourning the color is violet. The color of a bishop’s Cassock is violet, but on the occasions mentioned violet is changed for black. With priests who are not members of any particular order black is the color always.

The Camaldolese, Cistercians,1 Carthusians,1 and Dominicans1 wear white Cassocks. The Silvestrians1 wear one of dark blue; the Third Order of Franciscans,1 the Minor Conventuals,1 and Minor Observants1 wear an ash-colored one; the Jeromites1 gray. When a member from any of these orders is promoted to the cardinalate he retains the color peculiar to his order, as far as the Cassock is concerned, but the berretta, zucchetto, and hat must be always scarlet (Martinucci, Manuale Cærem., vi. 505).

The privilege of wearing a scarlet-colored Cassock was granted to the doctors in theology and canon law of the University of Paris by Pope Benedict XII. The same pontiff is supposed to have extended the like privilege to Oxford (Church of Our Fathers, ii. 19, note 47). The Cassocks worn by the students of many of the European colleges have large pendants behind like wings. These commemorate a fashion once very prevalent in Rome, where tutors, in accompanying their pupils to school, held these pendants in their hands as evidence of their watchfulness over them.

Color of the Pope’s Cassock.—In every-day life, and on all solemn occasions, the Pope wears a Cassock of white silk (Kozma, Lit. Sacra Cathol., 72). This custom, it is said, dates from apostolic times, St. James the Less, first Bishop of Jerusalem, being its introducer. As his life states, this Apostle always appeared in fine white linen garments. St. Cyril assures us that the Patriarch of Jerusalem always appeared in white; and it is also said that St. Peter used to wear garments of this color, in memory of the shining garments in which our Divine Lord appeared to him on the occasion of the Transfiguration on Thabor (see Metropolitan, “Letters from Abroad,” January, 1855).

All the popes of primitive times, as we see from ancient mosaics, were vested in white; so it may be very lawfully conjectured that the custom is as ancient as we have stated it to be.








Copyright ©1999-2016 e-Catholic2000.com