Can I suggest that you all head over to Dieter Philippi’s webpage today to have a look at his post on the difference between the Spanish Pompom and the Italian Pompom.

(Yes, we are talking birettas here and Herr Philippi is the expert).


I’ve been a fan of the Philippi collection for years.

Note the alternative spelling of pompon.

Biretta Watch – Snowy Day

biretta5Anyone who has read my 100 things knows that I wear a biretta when it is snowy. People sometimes ask me why. I tell them that it is to keep my head warm. This makes them laugh though I find it hard to understand why. People sometimes ask me whether I know how ridiculous it makes me look. I reply that I do, but am conscious of how much more ridiculous any other hat would look on top of a priest in vestments and ask whether they had thought of that. The answer is usually more hilarity.

I’m fairly sure that I have not given more pleasure to the world this year, than by the simple act of donning that hat on Sunday morning to welcome the faithful. Certainly, members of the choir, which included the young trebles this week, were particulary thrilled to see it.

There is now some debate about what colour my pom-pom should be going on on facebook. Magisterial Purple vs Canon’s Red are the two liturgical options, but I was taken by the suggestion that I should sport a white pom, to represent the snow.

Biretta wearing (in snow or in sunshine) does seem to me to be an inherrantly missional part of the clerical task. It binds the community and draws people ever closer in.


Further Biretta coverage here, here and here.