Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dominican Use of Capuce

I did not know this.

Dominican Use of the Capuce

from Dominican Liturgy, "A Mirror for Dominican Material Published on the NEW LITURGICAL MOVEMENT"

Here is the beginning of the article - copied directly, including photo, from the website (please refer to the article linked above for the full explanation and source):


This post is at the request of a commentor who wanted more information about choir rubrics and the capuce (habit hood) in the Dominican rite.

Historically men have worn hats, or at least they did until John F. Kennedy made going bareheaded fashionable, and the Capuce is the "hat" of the Dominican habit. The capuce is one of the three parts of the white Dominican habit and has a short shoulder cape attached to it. It is worn over the scapular, which is wore over the tunic. There is also a black version, which is worn over the white one when the cappa (a long black cape) is worn. The raising and lowering of the capuce is analogus to the lay practice of doffing one's hat, and to the parallel use by secular clergy of the biretta. The capuce is the only head-covering used by Dominican friars, with the exception of the doctoral biretta worn by those with ecclesiastical academic titles. And those birettas are never used in liturgical functions. Of course, this rule did not prevent wearing of a black zuchetto to cover the tonsure or, today, baldness. Well, at least that is the theory, and perhaps it was so in the Middle Ages. Photographs of friars working outside in habit under the sun, wearing wide staw hats, can be found from the 1800s in our province archives. And I have seen plenty of pictures of friars from my province at the Angelicum in Rome, some as recent as the 1980s, showing them wearing the cappello romano, the broad-brimmed Roman clergy hat. To the above right is a photo of some Angelicum students in the early 1950s on an excusion in the country outside of Rome, with their "Roman hats."
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