Deacon Stole Updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I remember a conversation I had when I was in the seminary with a seminarian from another diocese that his bishop will wear a deacon stole for the foot washing on Holy Thursday. The purpose being the connection of service with the diaconate and that every priest and bishop is still a deacon. 

In a brief search I could not find anything on this. I’m wondering if you have any insight. Is this just for a bishop? Can priests do it? If so, would you even recommend doing it? Thanks for the help and for this wonderful blog!



A: In all likelihood, the bishop in question wore a dalmatic, not a deacon’s stole. A bishop may wear a dalmatic beneath his chasuble, and some of them do so on Holy Thursday and for the ordination of a deacon.

No, a priest, may not do the same. It is part of a bishop’s vesture.


Another possibility is that the bishop (like Popes Francis and Benedict have done) turned the priest’s stole to the side – making it look, during the footwashing itself, like a deacon’s stole. If they did it just for practical reason, or intended the symbol, I can’t tell you… but I find it to be an effective visual….


Interesting. Thanks.