03 May 2010

What to wear, what to wear?

While asking What Does the Prayer Really Say?, Father John Zuhlsdorf answers a question from a reader about clerical dress that is worth a read (I, for one, did not know the Roman collar has it's origin in military uniforms).

In his answer, he cites a 1999 letter from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops about the matter that says:

In liturgical rites, clerics shall wear the vesture prescribed in the proper liturgical books. Outside liturgical functions, a black suit and Roman collar are the usual attire for priests. The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric.
I was happy to see this. I was unaware of this norm and am glad to see it; the cassock is simply more comfortable than the suit.


  1. Father,

    The white collar (which is the R
    "Roman" collar) does not have its origin in military uniforms. Rather it is the style of collar most people think of as "Catholic", namely the collar covered by an outer layer of black just showing the top edge of the white and the small square cutout at the front that mimics military uniforms.

    That's really more of a reference to the black collarette or rabbi not the white "dog collar" underneath.

  2. That makes more sense; thanks, Father!

  3. I think the cassock rocks!