Caps for sale: a new blog salutes the biretta

Further proof that there’s a blog for everyone, and about everything: word from across the pond that there’s now a blog up and running that pays tribute to the traditional headgear worn by priests. (Below, an image of one being worn by deacons!)

You can visit the blog, Domus Birettarum, to see more for yourself.

The tone is playful and puckish.  A snip:

It being spring, as good a time to start as any, we thought we’d begin with a run of plain black birettas, before moving into more exotic waters, and so it is that we present to you, fresh off the production floor at DB Towers: the Simple Priest’s Biretta. Mother Prioress tells us she’s never met a simple priest in 470 years of consecrated life, but we’re not always sure what she’s on about.
Worn also by deacons and seminarians liturgically, it has a black tuft, tassel or pom-pom and three blades. Jesuits and Oratorians do not have a tuft. The material is usually worsted wool, though cotton is sometimes used. The tuft can be of silk or wool. The lining is black cotton or silk. Priests in the household of a cardinal traditionally have a black biretta made out of watered silk rather than wool, as seen here.
To be honest it’s not immensely exciting to look at, but even this staple of catholic millinery is relatively rare. Naturally, here at DB, we have made it our life’s ambition in union with all likeminded fellows, to enjoin in its enthusiastic revival.

Well, my mother told me never to wear a hat in church.  I always listen to my mother.

  • James Martin, SJ

    Actually, Jesuits do not have anything on their birettas because we don’t wear them any longer. And, contrary to popular belief, we don’t have a “habit” either. St. Ignatius Loyola simply wanted his priests and brothers to dress as the other priests and brothers in the locale did.

  • Dev Thakur

    Fr. Martin: but Jesuits *do* wear birettas, at least sometimes, when celebrating the traditional Mass, I have seen it.

    So if a Jesuit wanted to have his own biretta for regular use, would he get one w/o the pompon since that is the tradition of his order?

  • Max Lindenman

    Well, Barry Fitzgerald has demonstrated how dashing one can look on the golf links.

  • Bill McGeveran

    @Fr. Martin, my impression is that Jesuits when ”dressed up” in suit and Roman collar look like other priests, but in the past at least (maybe not anymore), the cassocks they wore (at least if they were Americans) were distinctive (with a sash).

  • Chris-2-4

    You monkeys you, you give me back my caps!

  • Rudy

    I love the traditional mass, but sorry to say, I just find birettas ugly looking.


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