Why do You Wear a Mitre?

Dear Bishop Bill:

Why do you wear the Mitre and what does it represent?


Dear Curious,

The Mitre or “headdress” is spoken of in the Old Testament as part of the clothing worn by the High Priest. Ex. 39:27-31 cf. Lv. 8:7-9 Some scholars believe the Apostles wore them while others date the first use of the Mitre in the Christian Church to the 8th or 9th century.

The Mitre is worn by a Bishop as a sign of authority signifying his primacy of the Diocese.

The Lappets or two bands of

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cloth on the back of the Mitre signify the Old and New Testaments.

The Reformation almost eliminated the use of the Mitre in the Anglican Communion, but it returned to use during the Oxford Movement of the 19th century.

Faithfully in Christ,

Bishop Bill

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