Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Note to Bishops: Pectoral Goes Under Chasuble


  1. "The pectoral cross is to be worn under the chasuble, dalmatic, or cope."

    -Cæremoniale Episcoporum, 61

  2. And isn't it supposed to be on a the cord and not a chain when it's worn with vestments or choir dress?

    Funny how in one photograph, you managed to get TWO bishops doing it at the same event.

    My local Bishop makes this mistake too for some reason.

  3. It says a lot. Every bishop does this. And no amice to boot. Four violations: no amice, no cord, no cross under chasuble, no dalmatic.

  4. Why do RC clergy including bishops not realize how silly they look when they place themselves at such events. The contrast with the Ukrainians is stark and embarrassing. The picture of the distribution of Holy Communion reveals these bishops in the background: looking lost, bored and totally out of place. No wonder the world doesn't take them seriously.

  5. Actually no - in a response [I don't remember the date] the CDW allowed bishops to wear the pectoral cross over their chasuble. Personally I don't like the practice. Dalmatic is optional as is the amice, so no violations. This response supercedes the Ceremonial of Bishops regarding the pectoral cross.

  6. The episcopacy is a mess.

  7. It is said that the CDW permitted (in Notitiae) the wearing of the pectoral cross over the chasuble for concelebrations "to distinguish the bishop from other concelebrants." I would think the purple zuchetto would do that!

  8. One explanation I have heard for placing the episcopal cross under the
    chasuble is that while the cross is a symbol of the bishop's office, the
    chasuble symbolizes charity, which should cover everything.

  9. And surely the mitre would do that too! Yes the idea of the chasuble symbolising charity which covers everything is certainly a very ancient concept. The stupid idea of wearing the stole over the chasuble runs completely counter to this - the stole represents authority. But perhaps the promoters of this practice have actually got it right - those who wear the stole over the chasuble tend to be, in my experience, liturgical dictators who are not afraid to use their 'authority' in putting people in their places when confronted about some liturgical abuse they are practising. This sort of things reminds me of Superman who likes to wear his underpants on top of his tights!

    1. From my experience the most authoritarian bishops wear their stole under the chasuable along with the pectoral cross. The cross, by the way, which often contains a relic of the True Cross or one of the apostles takes precedence over the chasuable. The vestmeent which at Rome was worn by everyone from an acolyte up to the Pope himself until the 12th century.
      Perhaps,the clergy would be better off dropping the chasuable altogether or just wearing one in white without any ornamentation with the pectoral cross and stole worn over it.

  10. In Msgr. Peter Elliot's book 'Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite', footnote #42 he writes that it is a return to medieval practice and cites Notitiae nos. 372-74, vol. xxiii (1997), p. 280.

    I would presume that is the permission (toleration, actually) of the practice.