More than one way

I found myself yesterday using this turn of phrase, "…oh, there is more than one way to wear a biretta…"

It seemed a metaphor likely to be regarded as kinder to the more feline amongst us than the usual one. However, it has got me wondering.

Is there? 


  1. Stewart says

    How to wear a Biretta?
    The late Cardinal Winning had a wide range of tales about headgear, some of which he recounted in the sacristy on his visits to St Mary’s Cathedral.

    My memory is no good at recalling details, but I do remember one after service discussion on the various merits of Skull Caps, Birettas, Mitres, etc….. I can not recall specifc details on Birettas, but how to store, transport mitres and skull caps did feature.


  2. David says

    How to wear a Biretta
    There is of course only one way to wear a biretta. May I refer you Kelvin to a volume I never leave the house without on important liturgical occasions: Henry Cairncross’s Ninth Edition of Ritual Notes (1946). I think you’ll find all you need for the coming great days at St Mary’s Cathedral in paragraphs 87-89. May I quote: "the biretta is taken in the right hand by the centre blade, and put on with the bladeless side to the left side. It is put on after sitting down and taken off before rising…" And there’s three more more pages of such fine detail!

  3. Anonymous says

    How to wear a Biretta
    Many thanks David.

    I do not have a copy of Ritual Notes with me all the time. (Once you’ve memorised it, you hardly need it by you!).

    Perhaps you would agree with me that there is more than one way to wear a biretta, and that all but one of them are incorrect.


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