There are several grades of dignity, open to both men and women, which include Knight or Dame; Knight or Dame Commander; Knight or Dame Commander with Star; Knight or Dame Grand Cross. (In some jurisdictions such as the US, the term “Lady” is used rather than “Dame” but not in Ireland).
There is also an award of Merit and those Knights and Dames making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land may receive the Pilgrim’s Shell from the Latin Patriarch.
In ecclesiastical heraldry, the Order of the Holy Sepulchre is one of only two Orders whose insignia may be displayed in a clerical coat of arms. (Laypersons have no such restriction).
Notes on dress and insignia
These notes are set out for the guidance of members in the matter of dress and insignia. Members are reminded of the ancient history and esteem in which the Order is held and the wearing of its insignia should only be considered in the light of these guidelines. Any variance from this practice must have the permission of the Lieutenant.
At religious functions of the Order, clergy should wear the mozetta and neck cross. Mozettas should be worn over the alb during the celebration of mass and over the surplice and soutane when other functions take place, e.g. chapter meetings, processions.
Clergy will normally be invited to concelebrate at any Mass of the Order. At the Vigil Service clergy are requested to wear choir dress.
At formal dinners of the Order, Prelates are requested to wear soutane and sash, miniatures and/or stars may be worn on the soutane or frock coat.
2.0 KNIGHTS AND DAMES
Cloak and neck cross will be worn:
(a) At investitures and all formal meetings of the Lieutenancy, unless instructed otherwise by the Lieutenant. On the cloak, the only decoration that is permitted is the Pilgrim Shell (awarded to those who have visited the Holy Places in Jerusalem), to be worn in the centre of the Jerusalem Cross.
(b) At processions of the Blessed Sacrament when at least two Knights are present.
(c) When at least two Knights are in attendance on a Bishop. (Permission for such attendance need not be requested).
(d) At Requiem Masses for deceased Knights and Dames.
Caps must be worn. The badge should be centred over the right eye and pulled down to the left.
In procession, Knights and Dames shall wear white gloves and, in addition, Dames shall wear black Mantillas.
Cloaks are worn hooked up at the collar, with the insignia tied under the collar of the cloak, the pendant cross will hang at the centre.
At investitures, Knights are expected to wear morning dress (otherwise dark lounge suits) and Dames appropriate black dress (long if possible). Candidates for investiture should be in morning wear.
At investitures, members awarded papal knighthoods, officers of the Defence Forces or members of the diplomatic corps, may wear their dress uniforms under their cloaks.
Members wearing the Order uniform are not required to wear their cloaks.
Dress for informal meetings will normally be as directed by the Lieutenant.
Neck crosses are worn by all grades of the Order as follows:
(a) When cloaks are directed to be worn.
Ivan Healy dressed correctly in white tie order, Peter F.Durnin & Dr. Con Power in correct Black tie order and Donal J. Lydon in the uniform of a Knight of St. Gregory.
(b) At formal functions where Orders and decorations are indicated, with morning coat, white tie, or black tie.
(c) Neck cross should NOT be worn with lounge suits.
Breast Stars are a symbol of Grand Officer or Knight (Dame) Grand Cross, and may be worn:
(a) On morning coat (Dames long dress) on the left hand side, or uniform (if applicable) or with evening dress.
(b) Stars should NOT be worn on the cloak or lounge suits.
(c) Stars may be worn at formal functions (white tie) where Orders and Decorations are indicated. In black tie only one star may be worn.
Miniatures may be worn on the left lapel of morning coat, dress uniform, dinner jacket, or in white tie, and for Dames, on the left side (broach position) of the long dress. If more than one miniature is worn these should be assembled into a row of even length by means of a medal bar.
The Palm of Jerusalem and full sized medals are normally only worn on dress uniform and morning coat.
The only decorations that may be worn on the cloak are the Pilgrim Shell and the badge of attendance at the year 2000 Jubilee.
Note: If in doubt about the appropriateness of the function/occasion, the Chancellor should be consulted. The dignity of the Order should be borne in mind on such occasions when its symbols are displayed.
It can be difficult to properly house your cloak whilst travelling. Stange Company [note the unusual name], 2324 Weldon Parkway, St Louis, Missouri 63146 tel + 003144322000 email: firstname.lastname@example.org have a suitable garment bag. Their catalogue is well worth examining.
Mass Cards, Ties, Garment Bags, Prayer Books
Members who wish to purchase Order Mass Cards, Lieutenancy Ties, Garment bags for carrying cloaks, morning and evening Prayer Books should contact our Retail Director, Confrère Peter Moylan tel: 087 0678508.