QUAERITUR: Can bishops use gloves, buskins in Novus Ordo?

From a reader:

I saw a picture that His Eminence Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, wore pontifical gloves in Solemn Masses. Even though some mainland China bishops are wearing gloves as well, not only the celebrant but all bishop concelebrants in an ordination…but I checked that gloves is dissapeared in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum 1984 version…

Is it still appropriate to use Extraordinary (Tridentine) Pontifical Vestment in the Novus Ordo Mass? Just like what Cardinal Siri did in the past?

i.e.* liturgical stockings (also known as buskins)
* episcopal sandals
* episcopal gloves
* bugia

It is interesting that you ask that.  Not so very long ago I had an amicable conversation with a bishop about that very thing: using glove and buskins etc. for the Novus Ordo.

The conclusion we came to is… “Sure!  Why not?”

These are not bad things.   They are good things.  They were used for a very long time.  They are part of the Roman Rite.  They are used as absolutely normal in the Extraordinary Form.

You bishops out there…. just do it.

And, Your Excellencies, repeat after me… “gravitational pull… gravitational pull… gravitational pull…”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. teaguytom says:

    Isn’t it the usual practice that if a former practice is neither condemned nor promoted in an updated rulebook from the Church, you continue the former practice. Since it’s not being forbidden, you continue the previous practice.

  2. swanee says:

    There are a few bishops here in the Philippines (including my own bishop) who use the episcopal gloves. The only problem here is that the weather discourages many of the bishops from wearing the full regalia since it is just too hot. Every now and then our bishop will wear a dalmatic under his chasuble for ordinations but this doesn’t happen too frequently.

  3. Nathan says:

    Interesting. I guess a practical question might be, when would pontificals–gloves and buskins–be appropriate? In the TLM, the lines on when the prelate is supposed to/allowed to wear them are clear. In the Novus Ordo, would they be appropriate only when the prelate is attended by one or more deacons? When the ordinaries are sung rather than spoken? When incense is used? Is there guidance in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum ?

    In Christ,

  4. a catechist says:

    I’ve seen Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, IA, wear Pontifical gloves at a “smells & bells” Novus Ordo.

  5. dans0622 says:

    Gloves seem to be more common in Korea–and the rest of the far East–for rituals with greater solemnity. I admit that I know nothing about Cardinal Cheong’s practices but I got married in Korea and wore white gloves for the wedding Mass (until I had to start handling the rings), as did some of the more distinguished, male guests.

  6. Martin_B says:

    I think the last time these things were mentioned, was in Pontificalis ritus (http://www.lexorandi.es/Recursos/Documentos/PontificalisritusEnglish.pdf) in 1968.

    In this document vou will find (among other topics) the following:
    15. Use of the following is left to the bishop’s choice:
    a. buskins and sandals;
    b. gloves, which may be white on all occasions if he prefers;
    c. the morse worn over the cope.
    16. The following are to be dropped:
    a. the episcopal tunicle previously worn under the dalmatic;
    b. the silk gremial; another gremial is retained, if it serves a purpose, e.g., for the performance of anointings;

    So it seems, that because they have never been abrogated, Buskins, sandals and gloves could be used in the oF, as well as in the eoF. Only the episcopal tunicle is vorbidden in the oF.
    (Isn’t this interesting, because in 1968 there were still subdeacons.)

  7. basilorat says:

    Cardinal Carberry of St. Louis used them until he retired. There are pictures in the building Bp. Stitka wasted enormous amounts of money renovating as a chancery.

    Archbishop John F. Whalen of Hartford, (former priest of Cleveland OH!), used them until he died in the 1990’s. He even wrote a letter to his priests recommending they use the biretta at Mass. And he was no “uber traddy” either!

    And to those bishops who won’t, gee Excellencies…I thought Vatican II did wanted to get away from the “minimalism” inherent in the Old Mass????

  8. Oleksander says:

    recently on The New Liturgical Movement somebody was having a fit that Cardinal Schonborn was using a tunicle during an Ordinary Form celebration becuase apparently the person felt the tunicle had no place in the “novus ordo” grrr

    As far as I am concerned if a vestment used in the Extraordinary it can be used certainly be used in the Ordinary Form

  9. jmgarciajr says:

    I’ve seen Abp. Terrence Prendergast, S.J. of Ottawa thus arrayed when he said Mass in the EF.

  10. FrFenton says:

    My Bishop wears them, especially at Christmas and Easter. He also uses a silken gremial with his coat-of-arms (matching vimps too!)

  11. Supertradmum says:

    I bought “Roman purple” socks for a bishop, who was a friend of mine, from Gammarelli’s many years ago. He refused to wear them, but I knew he would. I wonder if he still has them in his sock drawer?

    I wish bishops would “dress” accordingly. I still remember my Confirmation Day, when the Bishop of my diocese “slapped” me on the face with his magnificent white gloves, with his ring worn over the glove.

  12. I teach World Geography at the premiere Catholic high school west of the Mississippi (next time you’re in beautiful Kansas City, ask your squirrel friend which one), and show a video on our Africa unit wherein the video lists the predominant religions on the continent.

    The image for Christianity shows a bishop– wearing his chirothecœ– extending his hands in a blessing. I had to watch it a couple times to confirm that it was a Catholic bishop (he may have been Anglican), because it seemed like a strange image to show to American kids as the image of Christianity. And it’s sad that it would be strange.

  13. rbbadger says:

    I live in South Korea and I generally attend Mass at the Cathedral in Seoul. Generally, when Cardinal Cheong is celebrating Mass, he always wears the gloves. Some Korean bishops continue to wear the gloves. Others don’t.

    However, Cardinal Cheong does not wear the sandals and buskins. He has some red leather shoes that he tends to wear when celebrating Mass. Once he passed by me in the sweltering August heat on the Solemnity of the Assumption in a white simar with cardinalatial red piping, sash, zuchetto, and those very red shoes.

    He seems to like a lot of the old things. I’ve seen him wear the cappello romano complete with tassels and the red and gold cord along with a cape during the winter months. And yes, his precious mitre is of the old style.

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