With over 50 million Americans living in poverty
A Reflection on What it Costs to Dress a Bishop
THE BASIC OUTFIT:
Start with the miter, a pointy hat the bishop wears whenever he does rituals. He should have two kinds for a pontifical high mass: a precious and plain gold.
Under the miter he wears a zucchetto, a little purple beanie.
Moving on we start with the bottom layer….a purple cassock with a matching sash. Although bishops get to wear black cassocks with purple trim, the proper one for saying Mass is the purple one.
Around his neck he wears a pectoral cross with a special braided cord.
Over the cassock for mass he starts with an amice, a rectangular piece of linen, a remnant of a hood. Then comes the alb, the long white robe. The bishops gets to wear ones trimmed with lace at the cuffs and at the bottom half. The cincture is a braided rope worn around the waist, sort of like a belt.
The stole is worn around the neck and extends down below the waist. It matches the outer vestment in color and material. On the right arm he wears a maniple, a narrow strip of the same material as the stole. It looks like the napkin a waiter has over his arm.
Next comes the tunic, the outer vestment proper to the subdeacon. Over that he wears a dalmatic which is identical in basic style and cut but which has a distinguishing bar that differentiates it from the tunic . This is the outer vestment proper to the deacon. The bishop wears both because he has the “fullness of the holy orders.”
Finally the top garment is the chasuble, the vestment proper to the celebrant of the Mass.
A sampling of prices for the basic outfit:
This lovely hat is a bargain at $20,000
But then in cost-conscious days it might be better to buy this one for only $10,000. I made the picture larger to encourage buying this one…..
For the penny-pinching bishop you can get a zuchetto for about $30. This one costs $60.
This zuchetto is my favorite. Colorful, light-weight, and you can wash and spin-dry.
Another good buy is this smart-looking cassock for just over $800. (tax and shipping not included).
Under the cassock of course you should have episcopal socks and episcopal slippers……I guess bishops wear normal underwear.
These socks which every bishop must have are only $320. If you buy more than one pair, you get a discount.
They go nicely with these slippers…….guaranteed to make no embarrassing noise in processions. These are a steal at $1500 and they last just about forever…..They do need to be aired-out after long services.
If you are a cardinal, you should have a simple cardinal’s hat for colorful walks outside…a delightful view in autumn visits to the forest.
This one — I would love to have one if I were a cardinal — comes to $800. But again, if you don’t wear it in the rain it will last for years!
Well you do have to have a ring. This humble-looking one is about $300 in cheap silver and $1800 in episcopal gold.
Then you must have a pectoral cross. Here there is a great range of prices. My favorite is this one. In sterling it is just under $1000 but heck if you made it to bishop why not go gold all the way. This one in gold is now just $5000.
I will not wear you out with more clothes and accessories. BUT….you have to have a cozier!
Here you can get a simple-looking cheap one for about $600. But they look VERY CHEAP.
When it comes to croziers — traditionalist that I am — I prefer the neo-con look. This one is about $3000.
Well friends, this is enough for this week. I have my catalog and adding machine next to me
and just realized that when Cardinal Raymond Burke (nothing unkind meant here) dresses-up for a Pontifical High Mass
it costs about $30,000 to outfit him……… But on the other hand, plain old bishops are much less expensive…….
Next week back to the serious stuff…………