Q: Regarding the cincture: a deacon friend insists that only transitional deacons wear their cinctures with the dovetail hitch on the side and the two ends handing straight down (off-to-the-side style). Transitional deacons and priests wear their hitches in the middle, bringing the ends back up to the side and hitching each end an equidistant section on either side of that central hitch and then letting one end drop from the left and the other on the right (down-up-down style). This creates loops, we are told in which the priest tucks the ends of his stole, and the transitional deacon wears the cincture this way to signify that he will soon have a stole to stick in those loops (I am using my own words here).
The difficulty I have here is 1) I cannot remember seeing any cleric use the down-up-down style, 2) I see nothing in the GIRM instructing how to tie a cincture off and 3) it seems counter-intuitive to me for transitional deacons and permanent deacons to vest differently.
Thank you for all your hard work.
A: You are absolutely correct about the cincture. The GIRM makes no requirements for wearing one (unless the alb is too long), much less how it is hitched. The cincture is optional for priests, deacons, altar servers, indeed, anyone who wears an alb.