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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Choral Habit

Under this head we give additional particulars respecting the clerical garments:

In England the canons wore a surplice, a black, close, and sleeveless cope, and the gray almuce or hood: regulars used the rochet, and monks their proper habit, but on the Continent the colors are more brilliant. At Pisa, in winter, they wear a large red cope, and in summer a red mozzetta over a rochet; at Salerno, crimison tunicles and rochets, and the hebdomadary wears violet; at Urgel the cope was red, but at Tortosa and Geroana black; at Valencia the cope worn over a rochet is superbly furred, and has a violet hood lined with ermine in winter, and with crimson silk in summer; at Besanpon the camail, or hood, is of blue silk, lined with red taffeta; at Strasburgg the cope of red velvet is lined with erninle, and has gold guards; at Catania the mozzetta of black cloth is worn over the rochet; at Syracuse the morizetta is violet, as at Malta, where it is used with a rochet and cope; at Vienne the cope was black, at Rouen it was violet.

At Burgos the canons wear in winter a cope, mozzetta, and a surplice with sleeves elevated on the shoulders. By the Council of Tortosa, 1429, the use of furs was restricted to dignitaries and cathedral canons; but in some special cases in England priest-vicars, who represented .dignitaries or priest-canons, as at Exeter, and the subdean of minor canons at St. Paul's, wore a gray almuce, lined with black cloth; at Burgos the vicars' surplices reached to the ground, and were rolled over the hands. At St. Paul's the vicars wore a plain almuce of black cloth, and lined or doubled cap. As early as 1386, the Council of Saltzburg required a distinlction to be made in the choral dress of canons and vicars. Canons formerly wore violet only in their robes, until the Council of Trent changed the color to black. At Ratisbon the choir- tippet, or-mozzetta, is of red silk; in France the camail is black, edged with the same color, in the diocese of Bayeux; in the south, as at Montauban, it is often crimson ermined, and generally rich in hue. At Verona blue cassocks are worn; in Normandy they are scarlet for the choristers; at Milan the scarlet cape and mantle are worn by canons; the vicars carry furred capes on their arm, and the lay singaeis have hooded black mantles, faced with green.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Choral Habit'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/c/choral-habit.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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