Choir Dress of the Rouen Chapter (10)

The choir boys wear red under their albs and also wear a zucchetto and a red square biretta, and are clean-shaven.

In a stained-glass window in the chapel of St. Romain, one can see the form of the ancient birettas of canons and other ecclesiastics, which were nearly round [Ed.: not the ecclesiastics, but the birettas.]

Various ways of wearing the almuce. Engraving from : Le costumes et les usages ecclésiastiques selon la tradition romaine, par Xavier Barbier de Montault, Paris vers 1880

The canons in the lower form wear the almuce in winter and summer, like those in holy orders, but the cantors or chaplains do not wear it unless they are at least subdeacons. The chaplains’ is of a reddish-brown color like that of a hare; those of the canons is of gray squirrel fur as in all the cathedral churches. In Rouen they wear it on the right arm, as they do almost everywhere else, even when they go to the altar.

On episcopal feasts the dignities and canons who are Counselors in Parlement have red robes under their surplices.

A canon In Winter-dress II.JPG
Manuscript:,Ludovicus Clercq and Leo Vlaming, Ghent 1812, Waerachtige verbeeldingen van alle de cleedingen der religieuse ordens

In winter all the cantors, chaplains and choir boys wear the black cape with a long train with a band of red fabric on the edges in front, and a large mozzetta ending in a point on the back. All the canons, both those in holy orders and those who are not, have the same long mozzetta and a cape of black fabric with a tail, except that the band of their cape is of red velvet. Besides this they have (as in Laon) the small fur mozzetta (camail fourre) or round heavy almuce of gray squirrel fur which only covers their head and shoulders, and which they wear over their cape and under their large black mozzetta, whose hood they put down behind their necks. They only put up the hood when it is raining or snowing in order to avoid damaging the heavy almuce. The eight minor “canons of fifteen marks”, the chaplains, and the cantors in Holy Orders also wear a heavy winter almuce, but it is reddish-brown like their summer almuce. Both take off their black cape and large mozzetta when they go to put on their copes in the sacristy when they serve as coped ministers, and only keep their heavy almuce under the cope, so as to not have two capes one on top of the other.

The heavy almuce covering head and shoulders (Source)

The priest, deacon, and subdeacon canons and chaplains wear a heavy almuce or fur mozzetta on top of their chasuble or tunicle, unless the celebrant carries a Cross to the altar. In that case, they go to altar bare-headed, and hold their fur mozzetta with their hand. They only wear it atop their heads going and returning from the altar, and when they are seated, like during the Gloria, the Credo, etc.

In winter, the choir-boys who carry the candles and thurible used to remove their capes and mozzettas, and served in albs.

For more from the Voyages Liturgiques on Rouen, see the rest of the series:

Part (1): The Cathedral Chapter of Rouen
Part (2): Major Feast Days
Part (3): Ordinations and Saints Feasts
Part (4): The 15th Century Ordinal of Rouen
Part (5): Public Penance
Part (6): Lenten and Rogation Processions
Part (7): The Privilege of St. Romanus
Part (8): The Corpus Christi Procession and 40 Hours for the King

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