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Hoods


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I've been making enquiries about an FRCO hood (not for me, you understand) and was somewhat taken aback when Ede and Ravenscroft quoted £225 and six to eight weeks delivery.

 

Are there alternative suppliers anyone can recommend, or is it a closed shop? If it is possible to ask, say, J and M Sewing to quote, does anyone happen to know the exact specification?

 

Best wishes

 

J

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I am always wary of hoodies. However Academic regalia has no place within the Church and thus such things are only worn on Speech days or at Commem when parents rather like to see a decent parade of Staff who are in charge of their offspring's edgeucaeshon. The C of E seems to thrive on such apparel and the only time when it might be appropriate (at a pinch) is when there is 9 Lessons and Carols and it enhances the display of Poinsettias. One is worshipping the Lord with talents, not certificates.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
I am always wary of hoodies. However Academic regalia has no place within the Church and thus such things are only worn on Speech days or at Commem when parents rather like to see a decent parade of Staff who are in charge of their offspring's edgeucaeshon. The C of E seems to thrive on such apparel and the only time when it might be appropriate (at a pinch) is when there is 9 Lessons and Carols and it enhances the display of Poinsettias. One is worshipping the Lord with talents, not certificates.

 

Hear, Hear! The sort of hoodies I wear wouldn't look good as choir dress anyway...

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However Academic regalia has no place within the Church.......

 

 

 

Not quite true. I think I'm right in saying that under Canon Law, at least until 1965, the prescribed dress for clergy at Mattins & Evensong (i.e. choir habit) included tippet (or scarf) and hood, in addition, presumably, to cassock and surplice.

 

By extension, one assumes, this became the custom for others seated in the choir and assisting in the service (i.e. singers, organists etc).

 

I see no heresy in this. I have fond memories of dear Sidney Watson conducting Palestrina masses on high days at Christ Church Cathedral resplendent in full D Mus robes with matching hood (cream damask with cherry sleeves - a very stately and dignified poinsettia).

 

JS

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I have fond memories of dear Sidney Watson conducting Palestrina masses on high days at Christ Church Cathedral resplendent in full D Mus robes with matching hood (cream damask with cherry sleeves - a very stately and dignified poinsettia).

Likewise Sidney Campbell, though somehow on him it always looked more like a nightshirt than anything else! It's a strange garb.

 

In answer to the original poster, I'm 99% certain the FRCO hood is only available from Ede & Ravenscroft. £225 does seem very expensive, but I've never seen a nicer hood.

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Off-thread (a little), but a vignette about such things circulated at the RSCM at Addington Palace when I was there. Down-to-earth Derek Holman D.Mus (Dunelm) was Warden and Presidential Gerald Knight (Lambeth) was Director. Both were in their respective academicals under the flowing boughs of the great cedar tree on the lawn of the palace for the annual garden party and I believe not too much love lost between them. The Director approaches the other and feels the material asking, "Artificial silk?" The Warden retorts after feeling the Director's, "Artifical Doctorate. I believe".

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@ mrbouffant: LOL

 

@ Nigel ALLCOAT: where Justason plays (mostly) he could wear a Jack Wills hoody on the bench. No one in the congregation would know and I doubt it would be high amongst the Lord's preoccupations. Academic dress, however, is not uncommon in Oxford.

 

Sincere thanks to the boarder who PM'd me offering to lend their hood, and the ex-boarder who e-mailed me with the specification and the number of a good tailor. I am indebted to you both.

 

Best wishes

 

J

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£225 does seem a little excessive!

 

I went through a time of having to attend a number of formal events where academic dress was required - and so I always just wore my old BA hood with an MA gown, despite having 'moved on' a little from there. Some time ago my wife suggested that I really ought to fly my proper colours and I paid £75 for my Ph.D hood - since then I've never worn it!

 

My wife's father was a Colonel - his brother was an Army Chaplain (killed at the very end of the war). Her father, very occasionally served Mass for his brother, wearing the battle dress of a private, without emblems of rank or the very considerable honours he had collected.

 

I wouldn't wear a hood if I was playing or directing at Mass. I might, just, wear it at Evensong if wearing hoods was the tradition - but I never play or conduct Evensong these days - and every time I go back to my College, where the wearing of hoods at Evensong is common amongst members of that particular institution, I always forget to take my gown and hood with me!!!

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I went through a time of having to attend a number of formal events where academic dress was required - and so I always just wore my old BA hood with an MA gown, despite having 'moved on' a little from there. Some time ago my wife suggested that I really ought to fly my proper colours and I paid £75 for my Ph.D hood - since then I've never worn it!

I have a dim recollection that, slightly oddly, an MA "trumps" a Ph.D at some universities.

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RCO hoods in particular are not cheap. It's because of the materials they have chosen to use: Red Tudor Rose Silk Damask and the lining of 'Pearl', a shot silk of three colours woven together. I think that Ede & Ravenscroft are the only ceople who do/can make them. I have, in the past, enquired at other makers whether or not they could supply any of the RCO hoods and the answer has come back, 'no'. The two materials mentiones are themselves very expensive so very few robe/hood makers stock them. Some have a little of the damask but not the silk. The silk is used for music degrees at Wales but I'm not sure if anywhere else so stocking it isn't really sesnsible.

 

I find it interesting whenever there is some broadcast service from cathedral, abbey, church etc that most of the directors/organists seem to choose to wear, if entitled, the FRCO hood rather than a degree hood, which they have!

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I find it interesting whenever there is some broadcast service from cathedral, abbey, church etc that most of the directors/organists seem to choose to wear, if entitled, the FRCO hood rather than a degree hood, which they have!

 

I think the status of the FRCO hood has altered considerably in the last forty years or so since the "new" damask hood was introduced. The old hood of chocolate and blue in a simple shape was not as attractive for your standard cathedral organist with MA, BMus, FRCO after his name especially as the BMus from both Oxford and Cambridge was very handsome. I recall Christopher Herrick appearing to conduct at anthem one afternoon at St Paul's wearing no hood at all - (he always wore his Oxford BA then MA hood when out at the sharp end). He said he'd worn it somewhere else and left it at home. I suggested (presumptuously) that he could have borrowed Harry Gabb's FRCO hood which would have been hanging next to CH's cassock and surplice at the bottom of the old organ loft stairs, but he was very dismissive of wearing an FRCO or any diploma hood. Christopher Dearnley was very much the same - never wore FRCO, tended towards his Oxford MA and put on the splendid Oxford BMus for festal occasions, but not always. Harry Gabb wore chocolate and blue but if it was a special service with royalty present he brought over his new FRCO hood from the chapel royal. At Chichester, John Birch wore chocolate a blue only on a Friday! He had two new FRCO hoods, and I think was responsible for all the new academical dress that the RCO has introduced in the last few years. His best FRCO hood may have been specially made to be slightly larger than I remember the early versions of the new hood being. I think the spec now says that the shape is Oxford Doctors shape which is quite a lot fuller than the older, rather small full shaped "new" FRCO hood. To complete the picture on John Birch - he wore and was proud of his honorary MA hood from Sussex, too. When I last saw him wearing academical dress, he was conducting Give unto the Lord in an FRCM hood. He has since been given a Lambeth DMus and I think I am correct in saying that he has George Thalben Ball's robes. On his last day as organist of St Paul's, Sir John Dykes Bower gave me his Oxford DMus hood at the end of evensong - quite a moment that - I treasure it - the hood and the moment!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry to resurrect this topic, having enjoyed reading various contributions so far. However, I now find myself in the unusual position of being told I HAVE to wear a hood for Sunday services (nearly always Eucharist). I have occasionally worn one in the past, but I resent being told I have to wear one and would appreciate any information regarding church law/conventions etc. that people are willing to share that would possibly aid a constructive communication with the boss!

 

Many thanks

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Sorry to resurrect this topic, having enjoyed reading various contributions so far. However, I now find myself in the unusual position of being told I HAVE to wear a hood for Sunday services (nearly always Eucharist). I have occasionally worn one in the past, but I resent being told I have to wear one and would appreciate any information regarding church law/conventions etc. that people are willing to share that would possibly aid a constructive communication with the boss!

 

Many thanks

 

I have always understood that hoods may be worn for the office but may not be worn for sacraments (Eucharistic services and, even in this day and age, weddings). I'm not sure where I learnt this though.

 

Wear a hoodie...make sure one or two talkative members of the congregation know why...

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Sorry to resurrect this topic, having enjoyed reading various contributions so far. However, I now find myself in the unusual position of being told I HAVE to wear a hood for Sunday services (nearly always Eucharist). I have occasionally worn one in the past, but I resent being told I have to wear one and would appreciate any information regarding church law/conventions etc. that people are willing to share that would possibly aid a constructive communication with the boss!

 

Many thanks

 

How very silly. Try losing it; get the incumbent (if it's he who is hung up on the issue) or whoever else to pay for one; or just tell them they're being plain daft.

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I have always understood that hoods may be worn for the office but may not be worn for sacraments (Eucharistic services and, even in this day and age, weddings). I'm not sure where I learnt this though.

 

This is what I understood too, though I don't know where I got it from, or whether it had any official status.

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Barry Williams put this one to bed almost exactly 3 years ago:

 

Much nonsense is written about the wearing of robes and more especially hoods, in church. There are even some places where hoods are 'permitted' only at 'Offices' (i.e. Morning and Evening Prayer) and not at Holy Communion services. Others state that only robes indiciating 'musical' academic qualifications may be worn.

 

This is contrary to all logic, for Holy Communion is an Office. (That is a matter of law, not theology.) Choir (and, as a mere presumption, organists' robes,) ordinarily follow that of the clergy. It has long been established that the formal clerical attire for the Office of Holy Communion is cassock, surplice, scarf and hood. It can be inferred, therefore, that the correct choir robes are cassock, surplice and hood. Scarves are restricted to clergy and readers. Other clerical attire is permitted under more recent enactments.

 

Gowns, in days of yore, were considered appropiate wear for the clergy when preaching and even now, in certain elevated places, the clergy carry (but do not wear) trenchers. ('Mortar Boards'.)

 

There is an interesting piece of legislation in the Office and Oaths Act 1867, section 4, that indicates any person holding judicial, civil or corporate office may attend and be present at any place of public meeting for religious worship in the robe, gown or other peculiar habit of his office, or with the ensign or insignia of or belonging to it, and such attendance does not entail any forfeiture of office or other penalty. (A later Act encompasses the ladies with men in this.)

 

As all academic institutions of note, whether musical or otherwise, are corporate, it follows that the wearing of a gown and hood is always permissible at all church services by right.

 

Barry Williams

 

The link to the original thread is

 

http://www.mander-organs.com/discussion/in...ost&p=26775

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Sorry to resurrect this topic, having enjoyed reading various contributions so far. However, I now find myself in the unusual position of being told I HAVE to wear a hood for Sunday services (nearly always Eucharist). I have occasionally worn one in the past, but I resent being told I have to wear one and would appreciate any information regarding church law/conventions etc. that people are willing to share that would possibly aid a constructive communication with the boss!

 

Many thanks

 

 

===============================

 

 

I think I would be tempted to wear lots of trashy, paste jewellery, crocodile shoes, adhesive ear "studs," a metal keeper in one eyebrow and spray on tan. THEN wear the hood.

 

They wouldn't make unreasonable demands again! :unsure:

 

MM

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