The Mitre or miter is a ceremonial hat used by Roman and Eastern Catholic bishops when presiding over the Catholic liturgy.
The etymology of the word mitre comes from the Greek word μίτρα which means turban.
The origin of the mitre or miter dates back to Byzantium. It was the practice of the officials of the byzantine court to wear head caps known as camelaucum. In the late empire it developed into the close type of imperial crown. It is from this custom that the use of the Papal tiara and the Mitre stems from.
The Mitre is a symbol of the bishops’ authority as the head and spiritual pastor of a diocese.
" Plainly therefore we ought to regard the bishop as the Lord Himself" — Epistle of Ignatius of Antioch to the Ephesians 6:1.
At first the mitre was used exclusively by the Pope as a mark of distinction , but by the twelfth century its use was extended to all bishops. As a mark of their office and a symbol of their authority.
Simplex : This is a white miter made out of linen or silk and very plain in appearance. White miters are used by bishops during funerals, concelebrations and on Good Friday.
Pretiosa : The word itself means precious. This is a gold mitre more elaborate than the simplex miter. It is used by bishops on Sundays or solemnities. In the past these type of mitres were decorated with precious stones and gold.
Auriphrygiata : This mitre is made out of silk or cloth. It can be either gold or white and has embroideries made out of silver or gold. It is usually worn by bishops when administering the sacraments.
He who honors the bishop has been honored by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does in reality serve the devil. St. Ignatius of Antioch.
Can. 437 §1 . Within three months from the reception of episcopal consecration or if he has already been consecrated, from the canonical provision, a metropolitan is obliged to request the pallium from the Roman Pontiff either personally or through a proxy. The pallium signifies the power which the metropolitan, in communion with the Roman Church, has by law in his own province.
The pallium is hence a symbol of communion and jurisdiction delegated by the bishop of Rome to metropolitan Archbishops .
An archbishop who has not received the pallium cannot exercise any of his functions as metropolitan, nor any metropolitan prerogatives whatever.
If an Archbishop is transferred to another archdiocese, he must again petition the Holy Father for a new pallium .
The new pallia are solemnly blessed after the Second Vespers on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and are then kept in a special silver-gilt casket near the Confessio Petri (tomb of St. Peter) until required.
"Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14).
The Pectoral Cross is worn by the pope, cardinals, bishops, and abbots.
It is worn over the breast ( pectus ) of the wearer.
The pectoral cross reflects the order of dignity of the office of bishop or abbot.
The bishop assumes the cross upon his ordination and wears this cross either suspended from a ceremonial cord at liturgical services or on a chain with his clerical suit.
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).
Traditional Western Crozier Eastern Catholic Crozier or pateritsa
In the Slavic tradition known as the pateritsa , is found in two common forms. One is tau-shaped, with curved arms, surmounted by a small cross. The other has a top comprising a pair of sculptured serpents or dragons curled back to face each other, with a small cross between them.
Abbots are the spiritual fathers of a monastery. They have jurisdiction over their monastery. When they are blessed as Abbots their receive the following Episcopal insignias: The mitre, crozier, ring, pectoral cross and coat of arms.