Question re: President George HW Bush's funeral

I just watched the funeral at Washington Cathedral for the late President Bush --- one of the most beautiful and moving church services I have ever seen. This non-Anglican does have a question, however: I noticed that some of the clergy (e.g., the Cathedral Dean and Mr. Bush's rector from Houston) were dressed in cassock, surplice and white stole while several others were wearing tippets rather than stoles. I had thought that the tippet was customary for funerals, given that the funeral is a choir office. Am I wrong? What would occasion some of the clergy to wear a stole?

Comments

  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Someone will have a good answer, but I'd just mention a service I once attended in NYC where the clergy's invitation said "Choir Habit" and there were a great many interpretations of that, from cassock and surplice only to kelly-green cassock only (on a Presbyterian), to cassock-surplice-tippet-hood-bands. Most, I'd say, wore cassock-surplice-tippet. I don't remember many in cassock-surplice-stole, but there were a few.
  • Well, I’d say that the two in stoles were participating in the service -- the Dean by reading the Gospel and the Rector from Houston by preaching. But yes, they could have been in tippet since it was a choir office.

    The two in rochet, chimere and tippet, that is, the Presiding Bishop and the Bishop of Washington, were essentially “in choir” and dressed appropriately, although the PB did the reception of the body, one collect and the final blessing, and the Bp of Washington one collect, and all four did the Commendation. So they could have been in stoles.

    So it was indeed a mish mash. I suspect it may have been to help security and camera operators for the broadcast -- “the ones in white with white thingies around their necks have access to lectern or pulpit, and are So, and So; and the one’s in fancy dress are the bosses and just get to sit still and not do much, more or less.”

    Hope that helps!
  • Weary Pilgrim's question above prompts one of my own, somewhat related to the Bush funeral, but also funerals in general.

    Many years ago I read that a bishop does not carry his/her crozier at a funeral. The reasoning being that the crozier is a sign of jurisdictional authority, and the bishop has no authority over the dead. (Yes, parishioners may be present, but the focus is the deceased, and thus no crozier.). At the Bush funeral the Bishop of Washington was carrying a crozier (and a mighty fancy one at that), and the PB his PB staff.

    I think I originally found that in Fortescue and O’Connell, but now can’t find it in my copy. Anyone have an idea on it? True? True once but not now? Or just a pipe dream of mine? (Side note, I did think the big topped crozier used by the Diocesan was a bit too much of "a statement", I've seen her use simpler ones. And, either could have been wielded as a weapon in a congregation of many dignitaries.
  • As a further trivia-query, is the PB not in his jurisdiction when at the National Cathedral?

    The stoles may have been worn in the context of blessing the congregation and the deceased's coffin. I noted that the preacher, Mr Bush's rector, who had attended upon him in his final hours, was wearing a white stole, but white is often used as a funeral colour these days.

    In the darker reaches of the ecclesiastical blogosphere, I find contradictory positions on the same thread in terms of bishops at funerals: first, a quotation from Fr Abel Nainfa's Costume of prelates of the Catholic church, according to Roman etiquette-- "Cardinals and Ordinary Bishops use the crosier at High Mass, Vespers, solemn processions, and generally at all pontifical functions, except on Good Friday and at funerals." But we find a description of a recent episcopal funeral: "...at the funeral Mass for Metuchen’s retired Bishop Hughes (requiem aeternam) in January, Cardinal McCarrick carried his crozier with the crook facing inward during the entire Mass and burial," Such ritual confusion in RC ranks challenges Anglican incoherence!

    I have just checked and, unless I have missed it, there is no passage in Blessèd Percy's writings on whether or not one uses a simple or precious crozier. The Bishop of Washington may have wanted to outbling President Trump, or simply emphasize her spiritual authority over members of the congregation who might benefit thereby, or it may just have been the sacristan's idea.

    As a Canadian who long disliked Brian Mulroney as a prime minister, it seems that he hits the right note as a eulogist. This is the second US President he has eulogized... I suspect that he will be on tap for future funerals.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    The vestments the bishops wore - choir dress definitely. We often call them convocation or Canterbury robes. Bishops heading off to the House of Lords to vote against the various Reform Bills would have worn them.

    We liked having the eulogy from Mulroney and hope that this becomes a more regular practice. I can't see Trudeau delivering one at Trump's though. An interesting question - in due course, will Trump have his service at the National Cathedral? Perhaps one of his golf courses?

    White has become the usual Anglican funeral colour here, with very rare ones in purple.
  • Interesting. I know little re liturgical colors. But I've heard that Chinese brides traditionally wear red rather than white, because white is the color of death. Makes sense.
  • Thank you, Augustine the Aleut! I found Fr. Naifa's book available on line, and what delight it shall bring me! Merci!
  • BabyWombat wrote: »
    Thank you, Augustine the Aleut! I found Fr. Naifa's book available on line, and what delight it shall bring me! Merci!

    I have found it very useful for passive-aggressive comments to masters of ceremony at major events.
  • A friend, who happens to be a deacon, wondered why none were present.
  • AlbertusAlbertus Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Gee D wrote: »
    The vestments the bishops wore - choir dress definitely. We often call them convocation or Canterbury robes. Bishops heading off to the House of Lords to vote against the various Reform Bills would have worn them....
    ...probably with wigs....:)
    They still do (only not with wigs).
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Thanks - a good bit if near-trivia to store away. You never know when it will be useful to drop a comment along those lines into a conversation. Any of the present bench voting against Reform Bills these days?
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Gee D wrote: »
    ...

    White has become the usual Anglican funeral colour here, with very rare ones in purple.

    I always used to work on the principle that if the deceased were very sinful they's need a lot of purple (like bishops, really) while mere human sinners rocketed straight to resurrection white.

    I haven't taken funerals for a long time now, but in my last few years I opted for Guatemalan multi-colours I'm afraid ... hedging penitential bets. Fortunately for all I'm not a bishop.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    But so few religious funerals these days - even fewer than weddings. That's making allowances for a funeral at the crematorium/cemetery chapel conducted by a minister.
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