27 November 2020

Eastern Rite - Mitre

Today is the Feast of St. James the Persian, Great-Martyr, who suffered a fearful martyrdom A.D. 421, under the Persian ruler Varanes V. He was progressively cut to pieces, first fingers, then toes, hands, feet, arms, legs were successively cut from his living body, while he praised God in Psalmody.


The mitre, in Eastern Christian usage is a type of head-covering worn by certain clergy of the Eastern Churches as a part of their ceremonial dress. The word is derived from the Greek μίτρα, meaning a 'headband' or 'turban'.

A head-covering, as a mark of position of certain religious and secular officials, has a long history. In ancient Israel the Jewish high priest (Kohen Gadol) wore a headdress called the Mitznefetthat wound around the head to form a broad, flat-top topped turban. Officials of the court of the Eastern Roman Empire wore a cap called the camelaucum (Greek: καμιλαύκιον kamilaukion) that developed into the imperial crown by the ninth century. A miter in the imperial form was not use by Orthodox bishops until after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Today, the typical miter in Orthodox churches is based on the imperial crown of the late Eastern Roman Empire.

The present day miter is made in the shape of a bulbous crown and may be constructed of number of materials such as brocade, damask, or cloth of gold. Embroidery may be used in its construction as well as use of jewels for decoration. The miters, while often of gold, may use other liturgical colors. Normally, there are four icons attached to the miter. These usually are icons of Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, John the Baptist, and the Cross. A cross surmounts the miter, either upright for bishop’s miters or laying flat on miters awarded to priests.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to deletion if they are not germane. I have no problem with a bit of colourful language, but blasphemy or depraved profanity will not be allowed. Attacks on the Catholic Faith will not be tolerated. Comments will be deleted that are republican (Yanks! Note the lower case 'r'!), attacks on the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ (I know he's a material heretic and a Protector of Perverts, and I definitely want him gone yesterday! However, he is Pope, and I pray for him every day.), the legitimacy of the House of Windsor or of the claims of the Elder Line of the House of France, or attacks on the legitimacy of any of the currently ruling Houses of Europe.