Domestic Prelate

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DOMESTIC PRELATE

The basic honor of the papal household. Clerics appointed to this dignity, by diploma, retain the rank for life, even if later promoted to higher dignities such as prothonotary apostolic or bishop. Their title praelatus domesticus or antistes urbanus carries with it the mode of address Right Reverend Monsignor, and they rank between prothonotaries apostolic and papal chamberlains. They may wear silk robes during the warm season and woolen ones during wintertime, i.e., violet cassock, rochet, and mantelletta. If performing liturgical functions without sacred vestments (assisting bishops or conferring the Sacraments), they wear a surplice instead of the mantelletta over their rochet. Their nonliturgical ceremonial dress consists of black cassock with crimson buttons and lining and violet ferraiolone, as well as violet socks. Their coat of arms is surmounted by a violet prelatial hat with six violet tassels pending on each side of the crest.

Most domestic prelates are named directly because of merit or because of their position in authority (e.g., most are vicars-general); but for some the dignity comes automatically, e.g., for assistants at the pontifical throne, participating and supernumerary prothonotaries apostolic, certain canons, and auditors of the Sacred Roman Rota. They stand in cornu epistolae in the capella papalis and enjoy several liturgical, as well as ceremonial, privileges; of these they are notified at the time of nomination.

[p. c. van lierde]