After receiving the ring at his blessing on Monday, Abbot Mark will receive a miter from Bishop Joseph. While essentially a mark of the episcopacy, abbots have been granted the privilege of wearing a miter since roughly the same time that bishops have. Use of miters by bishops became widespread in the middle of the 11th century, while the first abbot to receive one did so in 1063.
After Vatican II, there was some movement towards simplifying the pontifical regalia worn by abbots, a practice somewhat reflected in the practice of our own monastery. Abbot Joseph did not receive a miter at his blessing, while Abbot Matthew did, though the latter wore it only infrequently. (Abbot Joseph of course began wearing a miter when he was ordained a bishop in 1986.)
The over 900 year old practice of both bishops and abbots (conveniently referred to by the single term “prelates”) wearing miters will be solidly in evidence at Monday’s blessing. The twelve visiting prelates (evenly divided between bishops and abbots) concelebrating the mass will be wearing the simple form of the miter, the white miter.