ASK FATHER: Biretta without a pom

From a seminarian…


I am a new seminarian in search of a biretta without a pom. I don’t mind buying my own, but I have yet to find a site that sells a biretta without a pom. Could you or any of your followers point me in the direction of some online options?

Thank you for all that you do. I have followed your blog for about 8 years and learned to love the traditional liturgy in large part because of your work and influence. If you could please keep my name anonymous, I’m early on in seminary and don’t want funny looks for getting a biretta already. But I’m in a friendly-to-tradition diocese, and hopefully will sit in choir as a seminarian at a newly ordained’s first Solemn High Mass later this summer.

Thank you once again. Prayers for you in your time of transition.

Firstly, if there is any chance at all that those in charge at the seminary will look cross-eyed at you because you have a biretta, then don’t have it at the seminary, or keep it out of sight.  It’s not worth it.

Biretta without a pom or tuft.

Sure.  Some easy steps.

  1. Get a biretta with a pom.
  2. Find some fine scissors.
  3. Remove the pom from the biretta.

Otherwise, the “Oratory” or “Filipo Neri” style biretta (being Roman) doesn’t have a pom.  Neither do those of Cardinals (being Roman).  Also, certain canons such as Norbertines have pom-less birettas.

And for you others reading out there, don’t forget…

ACTION ITEM! The “Birettas for Seminarians Project” needs URGENT ATTENTION!



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    So does the Jesuit biretta…, um, uh, that is the last time I saw one……think it was in ’62!

  2. ex seaxe says:

    But how many flanges? My father as a memento from junior seminary had a biretta with no pom and just one flange. (is there a more suitable word?)

  3. Argument Clinician says:

    Here’s a site that offers birettas without poms:

    (Just choose the option “senza fiocco” in the “Dettagli” box. It doesn’t make the picture change, but that’s the pom-less option you want. The “Colore” you want is “nero” (black). And the “Taglia” box is your hat size in cm. I find that rounding up to the nearest cm is usually more comfortable than rounding down.)

  4. He might also try C. M. Almy ( Call them and talk to the agent and she can draw up a special order for whatever you need. I have have used them for four-fin academic birettas, both with red pom and piping (theology) and with white (philosophy). I also know someone who used them for an Angelicum academic doctoral biretta—all white. In case you are wondering, the pontifical piping color for canon law is green and that for social science is orange. Be sure to know your hat size in inches before you call:

  5. William Cody says:

    This reminds me of the riddle of the man who had too many pants but not enough shorts ;-)

  6. Opps. The piping and pom color for philosophy from a pontifical faculty is blue, not white. Sorry.

  7. Uxixu says:

    A Fraternity priest I know doesn’t like the pom and says he just pulls it off.

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