Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Prevosti of the Archdiocese of Milan

A kind reader asked for clarifications about the title of provost or "prevosto" for some parish priests of the Archdiocese of Milan.

This title is given to all parish priests of the parishes within the City of Milan, and to all those leading a former "pieve" of those territories of the Archdiocese outside the City of Milan (the Forese).

In the old picture above we can see a Prevosto with the insigna of his rank:

The black biretta with a tuft (priests who aren't parish priests cannot use tufted birettas in the Ambrosian tradition). You will also notice that the Ambrosian biretta is somewhat different from the typical Roman one.

The black and red cappa caudata fluente -a cappa with a short train which is tied on the back right side, but is not rolled up as typical of some roman canons. In winter, white fur is used as well.The hood is tipically tied on the right shoulder.

A parish priest who is not a provost would use a black mozzetta with violet (not purple) buttons and lining also called becca. A vicar of a Prevosto would use a black mozzetta with green buttons and lining.

The rochet with red sleeves.

The shoes with buckles. Actually, buckles can't be seen in this picture, but we can be sure they are there.

Our typical prevosto is also holding a ferula, a staff with a golden sphere on the top, which is usually a very valuable work of a jeweller's craft.

Every Prevosto has also the right by immemorial custom to use the bugia when celebrating Mass with some distinction.

In the picture below: don Giuseppe Balconi, Prevosto of Vimercate.

As mentioned by Shawn in his previous post, Pope Pius XI granted to the Prevosti of some larger parishes of the Archdiocese by Apostolical Brief dated February 3rd, 1923 the title of Monsignor, the use of purple cassock and the use of the white mitre of plain cloth without damask.

We have here below a nice photo of Msgr. Pietro Sommariva, Monsignore Prevosto of Gallarate, during a procession involving, apparently, also two Capuchin friars.

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