Why did the Monsignor change?
#11
(04-04-2010, 03:40 PM)Walty Wrote: Well, you know... that's just stupid.  I've been Catholic my whole life and I can't tell who to address as Fr., Deacon, Monsignor, Bishop, or just John half the time.

Well, there are a couple of small indications of rank. If a priest is also assigned as pastor of a parish, he can probably wear a shoulder cape. If a cleric has a pom on his biretta, he is at least a subdeacon.

But anyway, the cassock and collar are indicators of clerical status, not just priestly. And now that I recall, I think there's at least one group of religious whose habit is cassock and collar, so they're "brothers". I think that's unfortunate.
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#12
(04-04-2010, 07:36 AM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: I've seen priests celebrating the NO wear cassocks, even young priests.

The priest  of my local NO parish (a relatively young man - we are his first parish assignment) wears a cassock.
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#13
(04-03-2010, 07:45 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: The rule, of course, has never applied in England; priests were wearing clerical suits in England way before Vatican II, and before Catholic Emancipation, I'm sure they were allowed to wear civvies. Probably to make them less conspicuous targets for anti-popish ridicule. This might have applied to the United States as well.

I've seen a lot of pictures of priests from the early 20th century in our local town museum and I was surprised at the time that they all were wearing clerical suits (I think since nowadays the more traditionally minded priests wear cassocks one might falsely assume this was the pre-VII norm), I didn't notice what was under the other garments when the pictures were in a liturgical setting.
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#14
(04-03-2010, 03:56 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: I think that's like asking why you change from jeans and a t-shirt to a formal dress. There's no deep significance, other than that you're getting ready for some more important event. Some priests like to wear an ordinary clerical suit most of the day, and then put on a cassock when hearing confessions or administering sacraments to the sick at hospitals or homes.

The black cassock with red piping and sash is the dress of a "chaplain of His Holiness", which tells people that your priest was named an honorary member of the papal household and has the privilege to wear a certain type of clerical dress.

Properly speaking, there is no such thing as "a monsignor". It's a title like "Sir". Technically, all bishops can be addressed as "monsignor", but in certain cases, the title can be given to priests. I've heard that they're like concessions for losing a nomination to the bishopric.

There are presently three kind of monsignori: Pronotary Apostolic, Honorary Prelates and Papal Chaplains. They are ranked in this order. The first group is divided into two: The highest ranking are the seven Pronotary Apostolic de numero in Rome; then there are countless others called Pronotary Apostolic supernumerary. Most men you would address as "monsignor" happen to be the latter kind of Pronotaries. There are very few Hononary Prelates (mostly this title is given to priests appointed to special Curial position), and there are  many, but fewer Papal Chaplains than Supernumerary Pronotaries.

There is a difference between a regular priest and a man you would address as "Monsignor". The monsignor is actually a prelate, even if he isn't a bishop. Traditionally he was permitted to celebrate the Office and Mass using some of the pontifical privileges, very much like an Abbot (who does not possess the fullness of the priesthood either, but is permitted to have certain pontificals and even give tonsure and minor Orders to his subjects in some cases, but would not validly give major Orders). All would use the Pontifical Canon for Mass, some were entitled to use some of the regalia of a bishop which did not signify jurisdiction (so no croizer or pontifical dalmatic and tunicle, but they were permitted a prelate's ring, mitre, buskins, gloves, and pectoral cross, and I believe they gave the three-fold blessing at the end of Mass). An abbot, because he was in a position of jurisdiction was permitted the use of a simple crozier, but only some Abbots (called mitred Abbots) were able to use a mitre.

The proper choir dress for a Pronotary Apostolic is a purple (amaranth) cassock, like a bishop, with purple sash and a black biretta with red pom. The Pronotaries de numero are permitted the rochet and mantelleta. The Pronotaries supernumerary are permitted only a standard choir surplice. The proper non-liturgical dress for these men is black cassock with red piping, black biretta with red pom and a purple sash. They may also wear a purple galero, as with bishops. Their dress is distinguished from the bishop by the red piping instead of purple. As prelates they are permitted the appropriate color of zuchetto for their rank.

The purple (amaranth) is the prelatial color of honor (royalty). Red is the color which indicates one is attached to the Holy See (like Cardinals), since the traditional color of the Pope was red (changing to white only after St. Pius V, a Dominican, held the office and regularly wore his (white) habit.

Other monsignori were permitted less privileges and less distinctive dress.

The title of address "Monsignor" can also be used for bishops who are not Cardinals, and is more common place in Europe for such men. So for instance referring to Bishop Fellay as Msgr. Fellay, or as "Monsignor" when addressing him is perfectly appropriate and acceptable (and more proper than the traditional English terms of "Your Excellency", or "My Lord", as he is only an auxiliary bishop, and does not possess episcopal jurisdiction)

Regarding the clothing change, the traditional dress for secular clergy in the United States for wear off church grounds (since the 1800s) were "clericals", which included black wool slacks, a black long-sleeve shirt with Roman Collar or full white banded collar and a long black coat. A black hat of customary design was also worn. It was thus common for the sacristy to have extra cassocks, because the priest would go in in clericals, and then change into a cassock before offering Mass or giving any sacrament. I am sure this is what the monsignor was doing.

The custom since the 1950s has been to slacken this customary dress and permit short-sleeve shirts or the tab collar without any coat. I find this inappropriate because it looks cheap and  does not make the priest look like he's neat and tidy (as he ought to be). However, there is nothing "un-traditional" about a cleric wearing a clerical suit, and in fact I know several SSPX priests and even bishops who wear such a clerical suit when they travel by plane, for convenience.
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#15
(04-04-2010, 02:40 PM)Walty Wrote: Not to derail, but why is it that seminarians always wear whatever is being worn by the priests?  They wore cassocks often before VII and now they wear the same clerical suits as priests.  It makes things really confusing.

Most seminarians are tonsured.  Tonsure is the first step in the seven steps in Holy Orders and a seminarian is now considered a cleric.  Clerics are allowed to wear a collar and cassock (and other priestly everyday garb).  This is what is done in traditional Catholicism. 

I haven't a clue as to what Novus Ordo seminarians wear.   ???

[Image: holy-orders-steps.jpg]
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#16
(04-10-2010, 01:51 PM)mike6240 Wrote:
(04-04-2010, 02:40 PM)Walty Wrote: Not to derail, but why is it that seminarians always wear whatever is being worn by the priests?  They wore cassocks often before VII and now they wear the same clerical suits as priests.  It makes things really confusing.

Most seminarians are tonsured.  Tonsure is the first step in the seven steps in Holy Orders and a seminarian is now considered a cleric.  Clerics are allowed to wear a collar and cassock (and other priestly everyday garb).  This is what is done in traditional Catholicism. 

I haven't a clue as to what Novus Ordo seminarians wear.   ???

[Image: holy-orders-steps.jpg]

diocesan seminarians wear clericals or cassocks, sometimes mufti,  when they're doing their year in a parish.  they wear an alb over clericals or cassock when serving Mass.  they usually follow the pastor's lead, best as i can tell; for wedding receptions, visits to the sick, etc., they dress in clericals, but for parish picnics or trips to the grocery, they may be in mufti.  they are not tonsured, at least not by the point in their seminary education when they do their parish year.  those in religious orders may be tonsured and may dress differently; we've only had diocesan seminarians in our parish.  i would think that they dress the same while in seminary except that the seminary would have rules about what they wear at different times.



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#17
Wearing a clerical suit became normative in England because English law stated that only a cleric of the Church of England (Anglicans) could wear the cassock publicly. It was a slight against Roman priests. So Catholic priests could not wear the cassock in public - only in private, i.e. within Catholic Churches.

This practice then traveled to America.

ad Jesum per Mariam,
Taylor
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#18
MagisterMusicae ("hello" to you!) gives some excellent explanations about the various degrees of monsignori. It should be noted however that only protonotaries apostolic could make use of pontificals, a privilege that was abolished in 1969.

Pontificals for a monsigore were the same as for a non-episcopal abbot:

-plain white damask mitre
-ring
-gloves
-pectoral cross
-buskins and sandals
-Pontifical Canon
-bugia (hand candle)
-bacile (ewer and basin)

(cf. here for a description of Pontifical Mass:  http://newadvent.org/cathen/12232a.htm)

The Catholic Encyclopedia has an excellent description on the pre-Pauline types of monsignore:  http://newadvent.org/cathen/10510a.htm.

Hope this helps.
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