For some time now, I've been profoundly interested in the idiosyncracies of Catholic priest dress - particularly everyday (formal) and choir dress. Due to its uniqueness, in particular the dress of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest canons has piqued my interest.

It is my understanding that the formal dress entails a black cassock with blue buttons and trimming + pellegrina, with a blue fascia for ALL the priests, superiors and the general (no zucchetto or pectoral though, as that would make them look too much like bishops or cardinals). Or is it just the general, and the lower-ranking canons wear theirs with no pellegrina, or completely black? Or perhaps, is the privilege of wearing hte blue-buttoned cassock in everyday situations tied to Monsignor status, such as Chaplain of His Holiness, which the Prior General happens to hold?

Regarding the choir dress - it is said that it consists of a cassock, rochet, manteletta and mozzetta + biretta & distinctory. However, most available images (both photos and illustrations) also seem to include a second cape of sorts that encompasses the priest's figure even more widely and seems to be worn right under the mozzetta.

The scheme of the ICKSP canon choir dress, from the left: priest, superior and prior general

While the Prior General is demonstrated to wear this part in full blue in the schematic, Gilles Wach seems to wear it black, in this photo for instance:

Gilles Wach, Prior General of the ICKSP

This cape of sorts is not described anywhere (I can't find it at least). So my question is: is this part a ferraiulo? It seems to be a completely separate layer from the manteletta, which is directly below it.

Whether it is indeed a ferraiulo or not, then it would seem that these canons' choir dress is the most extensive and elaborate out of all Catholic clergy, combining the manteletta with the mozzetta, and even throwing in this extra cape for good measure. But I would like to be sure what exactly it is. Thanks!

  • It's definitely not a ferraiulo. Why do you think it isn't a manteletta?
    – eques
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 22:51
  • Because there is a part of it that's black, and part that's blue. I've actually done some more research, and turns out it's actually a mantellone - a longer version of the mantelletta that happens to reach the floor. It used to be worn in plain purple until 1969 by "prelates of the mantellone", who ranked lower than "prelates of the mantelletta". The blue and black parts being separate is just an illusion - in fact it's a single garment, the blue parts are just "wings" that fold outward, which are blue. The Prior General's manetllone is all blue (he's been seen to wear it on occasion).
    – spiffles
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 21:28
  • Mantellones are not worn under mozzettas nor over rochets/surplices; plus only ever existed in purple.
    – eques
    Commented Jan 12, 2023 at 22:25
  • Well in that case it must be a modified mantelletta that has the length of a mantellone. For all intents and purposes it's identical, except the color
    – spiffles
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 1:11
  • It would be particularly strange for a traditionalist group to pattern their choir dress in contradiction to traditional norms, but I haven't seen a real photo which shows the length of the vestment
    – eques
    Commented Jan 13, 2023 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


I have asked one of the canons about this myself and in his words, it is a mantellone. Why this is the case i have yet to fully discover. According to Nainfa’s “Costume of the prelates of the Catholic Church”, the mantellone is a livery garment and should not be worn with liturgical vestments like the surplice or the rochet. When i asked him about this he said its important to remember that there is no written code about the use of these things and that it originates in unwritten customs. He also said that Rome gave definitive approval to their use of these garments and that if anything was too foreign Rome would have changed something.

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