Choir with ministers wearing their choral apparel. | Image source: St. Paul's Cathedral
You’re very much familiar with choir robes, but what exactly are cassocks and why are they needed in choirs? Are they the same as cassocks worn by members of the clergy?
Well, yes and no. Although priests wear cassocks when they’re going about their priestly duties, the ones they wear during certain ceremonies are different ones and are made for specific purposes, such as celebrating the liturgy which does not involve the Mass, such as vespers.
They are usually of ankle length with close-fitting waist and sleeves. For the most part, they are simple and straightforward pieces of apparel which are commonly in black, but other colors are also available according to a minister’s choice and needs.
Cassocks are also worn by seminarians, deacons, and acolytes, but theirs don’t differ from the normal ones they wear in every ceremony they engage in.
Priests who hold higher honors typically wear different cassocks to signify their status within the Church or parish. Bishops wear purple cassocks and a pectoral cross. The Pope himself wears a white cassock, along with a red brocade stole, a pectoral cross, and red silk.
Choir cassocks are traditional and continue to be a popular piece of attire among western Churches either in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, or Anglican tradition. There may have been numerous innovations with cassocks in the past, but they should always remain conservative and dignified, especially during the liturgy and the singing of hymns.
What exactly does one need to look for in a cassock? For as long as it emanates glory in divinity and conveys the beauty of worship—while sticking to what is traditional—then it would be the perfect choice for any minister out there.
So where should you start in your search for choir cassocks? Well, allow us to help you in your quest as you view our product catalog here.