Coped Cantors during EF Processions
  • It is a very popular custom in Rome and many English-speaking countries to have cantors in copes for processions in the EF. Are the cantors supposed to wear the copes just for the procession or can they wear copes for the ceremonies prior?

    For instance, may cantors wear copes for the blessing of candles at Candlemas or may they only wear it for the procession that follows?
  • In the EF non-clerics may not wear vestments.
  • Sponsa,

    Do you mean that they may not wear copes, chasubles and dalmatics, or do you mean that they may not wear cassock and surplice?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,323
    We (EF) have had coped (Lay) cantor once, it was controversial, Although we can see plenty of examples of (lay) coped cantors in Paris at Masses sung by our Friend in the Schola Sancte Caecilia.

    As for Dalmatics, I have worn one while carrying a Blessed Sacrament canopy, at what would be described as an OF procession generally following EF rubrics! It is normal for our seminarians and occasionally lay men to carry the canopy vested in Dalmatics.
    Thanked by 1Jehan_Boutte
  • awilliamsawilliams
    Posts: 100
    I think, perhaps, a distinction needs to be made here. There are times in the traditional liturgy when a coped minister performs an office which is similar to that of a cantor, such as in Vespers when up to four coped assistants may be used which have the office of intoning antiphons. In such a case, the intention is that these four ministers are the four highest ranking clerics present besides the priest officiant. However, lacking these, it is permissible for the office to be fulfilled by a layperson.

    In the Cathedral office, these ministers are seated on stools in the center of the sanctuary, facing the altar. However, in the monastic usage, they assemble around a lectern usually positioned at the base of the choir on the Abbot's side.

    They are not, however, singers/cantors who are part of the schola, but separate ministers.

    The other times these ministers are employed are Lauds (if celebrated solemnly), and Terce (if a solemn Mass followed immediately). Otherwise, they vest simply in cassock and surplice.
  • Although we can see plenty of examples of (lay) coped cantors in Paris at Masses sung by our Friend in the Schola Sancte Caecilia.


    Indeed. It is a French custom to vest laypeople with copes for greater feasts.
  • I do not know if this is permitted in the standard EF Mass.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    It is a French custom to vest laypeople with copes


    Copes for all!!