Bespoke Clerical Millinery for the Discerning Clergyman

Friday, 25 March 2011

Back to Black #4

From not enough ‘ears’ to one too many, we now present an entirely black biretta with four blades. It is worn by clergy in some German dioceses, particularly the Diocese of Münster, as well as Canons Regular and Doctors of Divinity.

There is something positive to be said for the symmetry of the thing, certainly, but one cannot help but wonder how exactly you can know if you have it on the right way round; answers on a gift-aid envelope to DB Towers, please.


  1. Actually, according to Joseph Braun SJ, that great scholar of paramentics, the four-blade biretta (in the 1920s) was worn not only in Germany, but also in France, England, Belgium, Holland, and North America. The three-blade biretta (the Roman biretta) was mainly worn in Italy.

    As for knowing if you have it on the right way round: there really is no wrong way, is there? ;)

  2. When I travelled to Poland a couple of years ago I noticed many of the priests wearing a 4 bladed biretta.