The Garb of the Shepherd
January 16, 2020
When a priest becomes a bishop, he wears particular vestments and insignia to designate his office. Different vestments and insignia are required depending on the liturgy, ceremony, or event being celebrated.
Bishop David Malloy of the Diocese of Rockford shows how his ceremonial and daily garb is similar to and different from those of priests and monsignors. Many elements of clothing date back centuries.
Signs of Office
Several items that distinguish a bishop from other priests are his crozier or pastoral staff; his miter, his pectoral cross and his ring.
A crozier, also called a pastoral staff, is traditionally made in three segments: the crook, the staff, and the pediment. The crozier is the senior ecclesiastical insignia that symbolizes the pastoral authority of bishops, symbolizing Christ’s love and protection for His people as a shepherd would watch over his sheep. 
Its history can be traced to the Twelve Apostles; legend has it they carried large staffs, typical of travelers. In the early Church, croziers were made entirely of rugged wood. By the third century a smooth wooden staff was used. The all-wood crozier was set aside during the reign of Pope Celestine I (middle of the fifth century). The staffs were made of the richest of local woods and the crook was made of soft pliable metal and gilt. By the Renaissance, the ornamentation of the crozier became elaborate and included gems as well as precious metals. 
During the 12th century the crozier became the size it is today — from 60 to 70 inches. By the 17th century, the Holy See set regulations about the materials and design permitted. 
Today, prelates of all ranks may make use of the crozier style of their choice, within accepted norms.
The crozier is always carried by the prelate with the crook facing forward, a position referred to as “opened.”
Croziers belonging to past bishops of the diocese are sometimes used by Bishop Malloy. However he usually uses a crozier given to him by the priests of the diocese.
The origins of the miter (mitre) can be traced to ancient Greece, most likely derived from the cap and ribbons worn by athletes. The ribbons were worn around the forehead, tied in back and left to dangle down the back. In summer a soft cloth cap was placed under the bands to protect the competitors from the heat. The headgear became identified as that of a champion.
All miters are formed in the same fashion: with two flat forms, two flaps and a lining. There are three distinct styles permitted in the Roman Church: Precious miter; Golden (orphreyed) miter; and Simple miter. 
The first two kinds differ from each other only in the greater or less richness of the ornamentation; the simple miter is of white silk or white linen entirely without ornament. 
A popular custom over the last 20 years is to match the miter with the vestments of the day. 
Only the pope, cardinals and bishops are entitled to be buried in the miter. 
Pectoral Cross
This is a cross, traditionally no more than six inches in length, made of precious metals and worn at the breast by the pope and all cardinals, bishops and abbots. The cross is suspended from the neck by either a metal chain or silk cord. 
These crosses served originally as a reliquary of the True Cross, but the crosses made today do not include a relic. The pectoral cross is to be worn at all times. With the black clerical suit, the cross is to be on a chain, cross the breast and rest in the left suit-coat or vest pocket.
Simple pectoral crosses are known as the ordinary pectoral cross. A more ornate type is known as the pontifical cross and may contain the reliquary. The pontifical cross is suspended with a silk cord, not a chain. Cords worn by cardinals are red with gold thread. Patriarchs, archbishops and bishops wear a green and gold cord, and abbots have a black cord.
The episcopal ring is the symbol of a prelate’s authority. Later, the ring took the additional symbolic meaning of a bishop’s marriage to the Church and his spiritual parentage over the faithful of his diocese.
The ring is always worn on the fourth finger of the right hand. In the past there were three types of rings for prelates; something not always possible today because of the cost.
The ordinary ring is for daily, non-ceremonial use. It most often contains the arms of the bishop. It may also be religious in design, worked in simple gold or silver. 
Bishops’ attire
Cassocks can be worn by all levels of clergy, except the Holy Father. 
There have always been two types of cassocks for the clergy: the choir cassock and the ordinary (house) cassock.
House (ordinary) cassocks are black and ankle length. They are loose-fitting and without trim for priests and seminarians; but with purple, red-purple or scarlet buttons, piping and trim for the various ranks of the prelature.  
Choir cassocks have this name because they are worn “in choir” as in the public ceremonies of the Church. The mozzetta and rochet are worn by bishops with the choir cassock. Choir cassocks are worn by bishops underneath the alb when they are celebrating Mass.
This short, cape-shaped garment covers the shoulders and reaches only to the elbow. It has an open front, which may be fastened by means of a row of small buttons; at the neck it has a very small and purely ornamental hood. 
The pope’s mozzetta is red or white. A cardinal’s mozzetta is generally red (but pink on Gaudete and Laetare Sundays, and violet in penitential seasons and for mourning).
When worn by bishops, the mozzetta is amaranth-red (red-purple) or black. 
The mozzetta is not a liturgical vestment and is not worn at the administration of the sacraments. 
In the Catholic Church, cardinals, bishops and certain other dignitaries use a rochet, a garment that is 
worn over the cassock for non-eucharistic functions and for Masses he is not celebrating.
The rochet is a tunic of white, usually fine linen or muslin, reaching about to the knee. It is distinguished from the surplice (worn by priests and monsignors) mainly by the narrower sleeves. It is frequently trimmed with lace. The lower edge and the sleeves may also be garnished with lace, lined with violet or red silk, or more rarely with embroidered borders. 
A zucchetto is a closely-fitting skullcap, saucer shaped, and can be white (for popes), red (cardinals). Bishops (as well as archbishops and patriarchs) use silk amaranth-red (red-purple) zucchettos. They are 
uniquely-shaped and made from age-old patterns in Rome. They were initially of rough wool, with a circumference three times the present size. 
Zucchettos come in small, medium and large. They are made of silk in eight equal triangular parts, a silken loop of the same color at the top junction of the triangular points. The loop is for ease of taking it on and off.
The zucchetto must always be worn under the miter. Celebrants and concelebrants at the liturgy of the Mass must remove their zucchettos from the time of the Sanctus to just after communion. The master of ceremonies is to remove the zucchetto from the main celebrant; concelebrants remove their own. 
The zucchetto is always removed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and during the veneration of or blessing with a relic of the True Cross. It is not removed at the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.
The biretta is a square ecclesiastical cap with either three or four “horns.” The hat is made of stiffened
cardboard covered with material proper to the rank of the cleric. There is also a tuft, or pompon, of silk at the conjuncture of the horns. The biretta may be foldable or stationary. It should fit firmly on the brow and the “hornless” peak should always be to the left.
Bishops and archbishops may use a purple biretta with a purple tuft. 
The most probable origin is the academic hat of the high Middle Ages, which is also the ancestor of the academic mortarboard and the soft doctoral cap in secular universities. Bishop Malloy wears a biretta and a ferraiolo (cape) at graduations. 
The dalmatic is a vestment with wide sleeves and marked with two stripes. The name “dalmatic” comes from Dalmatia, a historic region of Croatia, along the Adriatic Sea. In the early centuries of Christian history, it was the garb of rank and prestige in civil society. Bishops made use of the dalmatic as part of their required vesture underneath the chasuble from the 13th century until late in the 20th. Bishop Malloy wears a dalmatic for ordinations and other important occasions.
Sources: “The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church” by James-Charles Noonan, Jr.; Catholic Encyclopedia; Wikipedia