Monday, May 27, 2013

Altar boys' cassocks should be!!!


From the great Fr. Z!


From a reader:

Is there any significance between altar boys who wear black cassocks as opposed to those who wear red ones in the TLM?

No, there is no significance.  This is a matter of aesthetics.   Back in the day colored cassocks were tolerated by the Sacred Congregation for Rites.  To my mind it is a thing of fairly small importance.

I prefer to see black cassocks… but… hey!

That said, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the servers wear paonazza, the same violet color that monsignors, canons and bishops use.  That is a long established honor.  The boys also attend the Pre-seminario San Pio X.  They are as close to being the chierichetti that chierichetti once were, if that makes any sense.

Also, the MC for a bishop or cardinal often wears paonazza, by custom.  I believe also the guy who carries the end of the prelate’s cappa magna wears paonazza.

The most important thing, however, is that they treat the cassock respectfully. [Read that Teletubbie?!]  It is a privilege to serve at the altar, not a right. [And not a costume either which you just pick up wear, and play dress up as if you were an instituted acolyte which in fact you are not!]  The cassock helps establish a good esprit de corps, which is important for boys.  The cassock is an indication that the boy or man is substituting for a cleric. It could help inspire some of the boys and young men to think about priesthood.  [That is why it is a bad idea to have altar girls.]

UPDATE (brought to you by…..:

A reader asks:

Related to the recent post on the color of cassocks, how do you feel on an alb and cincture being used to replace a cassock and surplus?

Feel?  FEEL?  I feeeeeeeeellllll…..  ill.

(I don’t like it.)

And a surplice is almost never surplus.

On a slightly related note, is there a specific side the cincture hang down on? I believe I heard a seminarian saying that lay people should wear it on one side, and seminarians on the other.

I’ve never heard of such a thing.

This sounds like moving your tassel from one side of your mortar board to the other when you get your diploma.


This excellent blog post from Fr. Z leads me to share this!

Nope this is not an ordinary group of folks posing in one of the chapels of the Edsa Shrine after the Mass of His Eminence.

These are a group of altar boys in their "liturgical" barong (ugh!).  When did a cultural garb become a liturgical garb huh?

I love Fr. Nilo and support him 100% but by God!  I beg of him to stop this thing with the altar boys of Edsa Shrine!


At the end of the day, this is how it goes:

If it ain't written, it is illegal.

I don't see cultural dresses being allowed as a liturgical garb.

Unless of course, you try squeezing something out of the liturgical timebombs in recent liturgical documents, like SC.

Right, Fr. Diwa?


  1. Replies
    1. PRRT!!! Josemaria! I know him personally, ok?

    2. Sorry,I asked. Didn't know It had to do with something of a Personal Nature.

  2. Sabi ng isang blog ang barong daw substitute ng alb o white garment para sa binibinyagang batang lalake well it is justifiable.
    But the worst thing is the barong can be used in Liturgical events like Holy Mass because it is an inculturated form of alb.
    To think of it a barong is a Filipino vestment in formal occassions it is used by the government officers and formal events.

    It is only a gospel truth that to use a barong in the Holy Mass. It is not authorized by the Holy See. Nor considered as a sacred vestment by the church. And by the way kelan naging sacred ang barong?
    The Mass is sacred the acolytes' or altar servers are serving a sacred occassion so they must wear a sacred garb either Cassock with Surplice or an Alb.
    If a certain Diocese is aggressive in promoting vocations why not start to enhance the acolyte ministries in their parishes or chaplaincies?.