From a reader:
Is there any significance between altar boys who wear black cassocks as opposed to those who wear red ones in the TLM?
No, there is no significance. This is a matter of aesthetics. Back in the day colored cassocks were tolerated by the Sacred Congregation for Rites. To my mind it is a thing of fairly small importance.
I prefer to see black cassocks… but… hey!
That said, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the servers wear paonazza, the same violet color that monsignors, canons and bishops use. That is a long established honor. The boys also attend the Pre-seminario San Pio X. They are as close to being the chierichetti that chierichetti once were, if that makes any sense.
Also, the MC for a bishop or cardinal often wears paonazza, by custom. I believe also the guy who carries the end of the prelate’s cappa magna wears paonazza.
The most important thing, however, is that they treat the cassock respectfully. It is a privilege to serve at the altar, not a right. The cassock helps establish a good esprit de corps, which is important for boys. The cassock is an indication that the boy or man is substituting for a cleric. It could help inspire some of the boys and young men to think about priesthood.
A reader asks:
Related to the recent post on the color of cassocks, how do you feel on an alb and cincture being used to replace a cassock and surplus?
Feel? FEEL? I feeeeeeeeellllll….. ill.
(I don’t like it.)
And a surplice is almost never surplus.
On a slightly related note, is there a specific side the cincture hang down on? I believe I heard a seminarian saying that lay people should wear it on one side, and seminarians on the other.
I’ve never heard of such a thing.
This sounds like moving your tassel from one side of your mortar board to the other when you get your diploma.