krista west
orthodox vestments

Headgear

Orthodox
headgear
Orthodox
headgear
Orthodox
headgear
Orthodox
headgear

Casual

black pants
white shirt (button cuffs)
Zostikon
soft skufos
simple pectoral cross (if awarded)
Orthodox
headgear

Semi-Formal

black pants
white shirt (either button cuffs or French cuffs)
Zostikon
Kontorason (clergy vest)
velvet skufos
Zostikon-size pectoral cross (if awarded)
Orthodox
headgear

Formal

black pants
white shirt (French cuffs)
Zostikon
Exorason
kalimafchion
vestment-size pectoral cross (if awarded)

Head Coverings of Orthodox Christian Clergy

Head Coverings in General

For many centuries, head coverings in the form of hats and veils have constituted an integral part of the normative "street dress" of the clergy of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Differing forms of head coverings may be used in different settings depending upon the formality of dress required. Head coverings of bishops, hieromonks and hierodeacons follow monastic traditions that may be different from the customs observed by priests and deacons who live in the world and serve parishes. Aside from the bishop's miter, head coverings are not liturgical vestments properly speaking, but rather part of the monastic or clerical "habit" (i.e. identifying dress worn outside divine services). However, in certain settings formal head coverings may be worn by priests and deacons on some occasions during divine services either with or without liturgical vestments. The different ethnic traditions within the Orthodox Church have different styles and colors of hats and differing customs as to what hats are to be worn in particular venues. The following information seeks to set forth the general usage followed by those local Orthodox Communions which have been strongly influenced by the modern usage of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Monastic and Non-Monastic Head Coverings

On formal occasions, including services in the katholikon and meals in the trapeza, tonsured monks wear the brimless kalymmafchion (a flat-topped, cylindrical hat made of stiffened felt) covered by the monastic veil. On less formal occasions the monastic kalymmafchion may be worn without the veil or be replaced by the skoufos: a softer, cylindrical hat with a flat, often pleated, top. Outside his monastery, a hieromonk or hierodeacon may wear a brimmed kalymmafchion of the type worn by bishops as well as married priests and deacons. In strictly informal settings (e.g. in the kitchen, the garden, the workshop or in the cells) the monastic head covering is likely to be the casual skoufaki: a small cloth or knit cap that fits the head closely.

Traditionally, married priests and deacons have usually worn the kalymmafchion in all settings, whether formal or informal, where the head may be covered. The form of kalymmafchion worn by married priests and deacons (and usually by bishops as well) incorporates a shallow brim around the upper edge and has a modest conical peak instead of a flat top. Within the church building, the kalymmafchion without a veil is never worn within the altar precincts nor when making an entrance through the holy doors, but only outside the iconostasis. The kalymmafchion is removed when venerating icons or holy relics and is removed by the priest when he reads priestly prayers (e.g. the seven lamp- lighting prayers read before the icon of Christ during Psalm 103 at Daily Vespers). The kalymmafchion is also always removed at the proclamation of the Gospel.

In Western lands in recent years it has become increasingly common to see married priests and deacons wearing the skoufos or even the skoufaki in informal settings. It should be carefully noted, however, that when travelling in traditional Orthodox lands the use of the skoufos or skoufaki may be regarded as marking its wearer as a monk. One should also note that it may be deemed highly inappropriate for any clergy to wear a hat less formal than the kalymmafchion within the church building during divine services.

Clerical hats, whether monastic or non-monastic, formal or informal, are always black in color.

Our Hat Offerings

At present we supply three styles of hats: a brimmed kalymmafchion, a velvet skoufos (semi-stiff), and a cloth skoufos (soft).

The brimmed kalymmafchion (Also called a kamilavkion.) This is a formal hat suitable for wear with vestments (if the typikon of your diocese allows), with the Exorason, as well as with an Zostikon and vest. This hat is the clerical equivalent of your grandfather's nice felt homburg or your great-grandfather's silk top hat. It is also the default headgear for married clergy in all situations where hats are likely to be expected. If you are not sure what hat to wear in a particular setting, wear the kalymmafchion-it is not possible to wear too formal a hat, though it is possible to make a grave faux pas by wearing too informal (or too monastic) a hat on the wrong occasion. Price: $125.00 (comes with decorative storage/travel box)

The velvet skoufos This is a semi-formal hat suitable for wear with an Zostikon and vest, but not worn with vestments or an Exorason. This hat is the clerical equivalent of your grandfather's fedora or your great-grandfather's bowler. Price $95.00

The soft cloth skoufos This is an informal hat suitable for wear with an Zostikon with or without a vest. It is the clerical equivalent of your grandfather's driving cap or your great-grandfather's newsboy cap. This is the least formal style of hat likely to be worn by married clergymen. (The casual skoufaki is an emphatically monastic head covering-if the occasion is so informal that a skoufaki is appropriate, a married priest or deacon will simply remain bare-headed since a monk's skoufaki is a practical item of clothing, the equivalent of a stocking cap or gardening hat.) Price $45.00

image