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Catholic Dictionary




Liturgical headdress worn by popes, cardinals, abbots, and bishops of the Latin Rite. It is a folding two-pieced stiffened cap of silk or linen, often richly ornamented with gold embroidery, united with a piece of soft material allowing the two stiffened pieces to be folded together. It usually has two fringed lappets that hang down the back. It is always removed when the celebrant prays. There are three kinds of miters to be interchanged according to the solemnity of the occasion and the liturgical season: the golden, the precious, and the simple. The last is always of white and worn on Good Friday and at funerals. Usually inferior prelates are restricted to the white miter only. (Etym. Greek mitr_, girdle, belt, headband, turban.)