Saturday, September 25, 2010

GULP Exam ANSWER: All about cassocks and albs

Huzzah and a "salakot" tip to all our GULPs for getting the correct answer to this GULP Exam question: Spot the not in the photo above.

Notice that the priests in the photo are all wearing uniformly designed...ALBS.

Yup. This is one phenomenon that boggles me to this day.

I have seen priests like this in Mindanao... the Visayas,

and most especially here in Luzon and Manila.

Priests are substituting a clerical cassock from an alb.

Let us look at the difference of the two.

Here is an alb.

Notice the sleeve.  It is wide.  The fitting is loose.  And the alb only comes in WHITE.

Take note of these

Now let us look at the cassock.

Here is a photo of seminarians of the Archdiocese of Lipa in a gameful pose.  Notice the sleeves and the fitting.  I also read in the blog where this photo came from that their archbishop asked them to wear their cassocks ALL THE TIME!  Huzzah and salakot tip to

Oh, they are in white!  Does that mean they are in albs?

NOPE.  That is a cassock, the proper garb of seminarians and priests.

The proper color of cassocks is BLACK, not white.  A special indult has been given to tropical countries to wear white cassocks.

Here is how it should be...

Notice that the one in the middle is not wearing a "belt".  Actually it is called a faschia and it is also proper for diocesan clergy, priest, deacon and seminarian.  So, it is also proper for diocesan clergy to wear a black faschia even if they are wearing a white cassock.  Look at the picture below

That is a Sri Lankan bishop leading a protest march with his clergy.

So we, can observe the difference of the two.

The function also greatly differs.

The cassock is the plain clothes of the clergy.  It is also called soutana.

While the alb IS a liturgical vestment.  As a liturgical vestment, it is worn by deacons and priests when they are administering the sacraments.  I can bring up the altar servers wearing alb but the practice is just wrong.   More of that in later posts.

So if the alb is a liturgical vestment, IT MUST BE WORN ONLY DURING THE CELEBRATION OF THE LITURGY!

Get it?

So, the million dollar questions are:

1.  Considering that the Philippines, as a tropical country, was given an indult for its clergy not to wear the black cassock, why are MOST, I am not saying all, Filipino clergymen, not wearing the white cassock?

2.  If they are not wearing the white cassock, then why are they wearing the alb as a non liturgical vestment?

3.  And if the alb is their alternative to the cassock as an everyday wear, why are these priests not wearing it MOST OF THE TIME, and instead goes back into their secular clothes?

Honestly, I knew some priests who, are dear friends of mine but who keeps on giving me this crappy worn-down answer of "being close to the people" and being to "pre-Vatican II"or being too "clerical" for wearing the cassock.

For all I care, I know most of them would not want to be recognized when they are in public so they can do whatever they want and go wherever they may want to THEIR SECULAR CLOTHES!

Wear the dignity of your ordination, our dear Fathers!

Be the example of obedience by following the simple liturgical laws!

Are these too much of a request for you, dear Fathers?


  1. Please Give me Good Reasons,Why Priest must Wear their Cassocks(Because When I asked a Jesuit Priest Online that Why he isn't wearing one,he retorted that "Holiness is NOT defined by the garb")?

  2. Josemaria, I'll tell you one good reason why priests SHOULD wear their cassocks if someone could tell me why they SHOULD NOT wear the cassock.

    Fair deal?

    Oh by the way, I would not mind that Jesuit.

    They are the leading dissenters in the Church.

    Talk about their humble beginnings.

  3. Talk About their Humble Beginnings? What do You Mean by that?

    Here's the Jesuit's response:

    Holiness is not determined by the garb. Holiness is about character. It is 'who you are' expressed by your regard for yourself, others, all created things and God.

    These are for you: 2 Cor 11, 12-15 and particularly Matthew 23 is REALLY for you. Learn the point of Jesus.

  4. Seriously Josemaria? Seriously?

    Where have you been? Under a rock or bomb shelter? Don't you know that the Jesuits were founded as the most loyal priests to the Pope? Have you ever seen how they attack the Pope and the Magisterium?

    You do not even know how the Jesuits started with St. Ignatius and how they are today!

    Seriously? Giving me that line about holiness in character? What can you say about Padre Pio who wore his Capuchin habit till his death then?

    Bible quoting won't get you anywhere. Even the devil used it against Christ. Look at the garb at the proper context and not at some flimsy excuse.

    Holiness in character! Tell that to the marines!

    Flimsy excuse for not wearing the garb!

  5. In charity I pray for the enlightenment of the JESUIT Order, that they may once again return to the fullness of their ORIGINAL CHARISM and tradition!

    Mr. TPC is indeed on ground he stated that the Jesuits of ST. Ignatius have long walked off of the path intended by their great founder. We pray that the remaining faithful sons of St. Ignatius would become the heralds of their new vocation.

    Josemaria, let me ask you this then, does the "external appearance" hinder one from being holy if he does wear the garb of his office? You see, that argument goes both ways. The thing that you need to remember is that the office that the clergy are ordained into "is not only to be servants of God's people and Church, but they are called to be extraordinary in their lives so that they STAND OUT and express to the world that they answered their vocation... the cassock is their armor against the modernism that may intrude their sacred calling and must always wear it or else they loose their symbolic stature. (1965 Speech to Roman Seminarians by Agustin Cardinal Bea, SJ)".

  6. Dapat ba yung cassock hangang sa ibaba ang set of buttons niya? coz' some altar servers have cassocks which buttons are only until the mid section.

  7. @keb_17 - there is no need for a liturgical norm for this since it is one of practicality and maybe decency.

    it should be buttoned all the way down to close it.

  8. @Pinoy Catholic-

    What I mean is from the diaphragm/mid section down to the lower part is already closed so no need for buttons, the set of buttons is just from the collar to the mid section...
    so is this still accepted/ has exemption?

  9. keb_17 - yeah I think I saw one that you are describing but it looks kinda awkward.

    the usual practice is to have buttons on the cassock. traditional cassocks have 33 buttons to symbolize the number of earthly years spent by our Lord.

    But after Vatican 2, you get the picture.

  10. Please do read this: