Please explain Roman collars and black

Status
Not open for further replies.
L

Lepanto

Guest
I’m not questioning whether priests should wear their clericals at all times in public. In fact, I think priests should ALWAYS wear clericals (unless doing physical labor or something like that).

Rather, my questions regard the origin and symbolism of the Roman collar and the black uniform.

How did the Roman collar and the choice of black evolve? What is their religious meaning?

Thank you.
 
Like most of what we today consider sacred vestments and clerical attire, the Roman collar was once normal secular dress. As it began to fade from style, the clergy continued its use, thus making it distinctive of the clerical state.
 
The Roman Collar

Description: The stiff Roman collar is the standard street shirt for priests. Only the white part is called the collar; the black part is called a “rabat.”

Origin: “Originally,” says the Reverend Henry McCloud in his book Clerical Dress and Insignia of the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman collar “was nothing else than the shirt collar turned down over the cleric’s everyday common dress in compliance with a fashion that began toward the end of the sixteenth century. For when the laity began to turn down their collars, the clergy also took up the mode.”

… But that’s only half the story. The clergy also adopted the fad of lining their collars with fancy lace and needlework, which made them more beautiful but also more difficult to clean. So a third custom arose: covering the collar with a changeable sleeve of white linen to protect it from dirt. The modest-minded Pope Urban VIII banned the use of lace in 1624 … but he didn’t ban the protective sleeve. “Thus,” McCloud says, “the narrow band of white linen used to protect the collar in the course of a few centuries became what is known today as the Roman collar.”

Taken from:
st-ignatius-loyola.com/trivia/trivia6.html
 
40.png
lepanto:
Rather, my questions regard the origin and symbolism of the Roman collar and the black uniform.

How did the Roman collar and the choice of black evolve? What is their religious meaning?

Thank you.
To actually answer your question, the black is symbolically representative of ‘worldy (secular) death,’ or a sort of ‘crucifixition of the flesh’ to quote the Apostle. The white is of course for purity of the minister.

I’ve seen some early midieval drawings of english bishops who wore (to describe it) something that looked like if you took a T-shirt collar and snipped a broad square a few inches long down the chest. they wore a loose ruffled white shirt underneath that. Collars have been fairly regional in difference of design as well though. Kinda like birettas (hats). who knows if the modern collars worn now will ever evolve into a different design?
 
I have seen old pictures of priests with a different collar. It looks like two rectangles comming down from their necks, where did that originate? If you have seen the movie Song of Bernadette, you can see priests with that type of collar.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top