In this video by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, we can see brief moments of the procession into the church. At the front of the procession with the cardinal (at 5:04), there appears to be a man dressed in archaic secular clothes holding a red hat. It seems obvious this is related to the dignity of a cardinal, but why is he dressed that way?

Right behind him are two clerics who appear to be wearing ferraioli. The ferraiolo is also seen at other places, why might a priest wear this instead of choir dress?

Lastly, in the same video we see at minute 2:58, a man wearing, again, archaic secular dress wielding a pike. Why is he there?

1 Answer 1


The familiares of a bishop or cardinal wear ferraioli over cassocks not usual choir dress (surplices). I suspect this is because the familiares are more like personal attendants of the prelate rather than strictly liturgical ministers.

The role of the familiares is to assist the bishop with vesting at the altar and handle items like the miter, crozier, etc.

The man with the red hat is a page carrying the galero of the Cardinal. The galeri are not usually worn in liturgy, but are sometimes carried as a symbol of the office of the Cardinal. I don't recall specific rubrics around how he dresses, but especially given this is the Institute of Christ the King, the more archaic dress style seems appropriate.

  • Well put. There was at one point in time a page who carried a cardinal’s hat under the simply title of hat bearer. He was part on the cardinal’s train.
    – Ken Graham
    May 31, 2022 at 14:27
  • Thanks! Could you tell me where I can learn more?
    – user54757
    May 31, 2022 at 18:20
  • I learned that from Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described and Costumes of Prelates of the Catholic Church
    – eques
    Jun 1, 2022 at 1:08

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