I've been trying to find information concerning the burial of abbots and
priors but I can't find anything that would be helpful. I'm sure some
abbots were buried with their pontificalia (at least the vestments), if
they had been granted the use of the pontificalia. I can't imagine that
priors have any special insignia (unless perhaps they were cathedral
priors). Our own custom is to bury an abbot in cuculla and stole, the
priests in cuculla and stole, the brothers in cuculla, and the simply
professed in their habits. During the time when the body of an abbot is
viewed, he wears his pectoral cross as well but the pectoral is removed
before the coffin is closed. Older monks have a rosary in their hands
(since our monastery is dedicated to the Blessed Virgn under her title
of the Immaculate Conception). 

There was an exhibit in Paris in 1991, I think, which had (I think) the
habit of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, I think from his coffin. A
catalogue of the exhibit might describe what was found in the coffin.

Thomas Sullivan, OSB

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	John B.Wickstrom [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent:	Wednesday, April 28, 1999 9:52 PM
> To:	[log in to unmask]
> Subject:	Re: Burial of Priors
> It is the custom in at least some modern monasteries to pass the
> crosier on
> from one abbot to another as a sign of the continuity of authority.
> Megan McLaughlin wrote:
> > >      Dear List  I know that bishops were buried - once dead that
> is -
> > >with croziers etc.  Can anyone tell me about abbots, and, what I
> > >particularly want to know, about priors?  Were they customarily
> attired in
> > >a particular way, might they have had goods buried with them, might
> they
> > >be buried in a particular place, eg. the chancel of the priory
> church
> > >etc.?  I would be grateful for all suggestions and sources.  Many
> thanks
> > >Darryl   =====================================================  Dr
> D.M.
> > >Ogier Island Archives Service 29 Victoria Road St Peter Port
> Guernsey GY1
> > >1HU British Isles  e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> > >=====================================================
> >
> > I have looked at quite a few customaries from houses of monks and
> canons
> > regular, but I don't think I have ever seen a specific reference to
> the
> > burial of an abbot with (say) his abbatial staff.  I have seen
> references
> > to abbots buried with relics.  Many customaries specify that people
> being
> > buried should be attired according to their order in the
> church--that is,
> > with the appropriate vestments for their liturgical status.  Where
> they
> > would be buried seems to have been largely a matter of individual
> choice,
> > although I can imagine some communities may have had a particular
> area
> > within the church reserved for abbots or priors.  However, I have
> seen
> > requests by individual abbots to be buried in the porch, near the
> altar,
> > etc., etc.  What really seems to have marked the status of abbots
> and
> > priors was the type and quantity of suffrages performed for them
> after the
> > burial--how many masses within the first thirty days, for example,
> or how
> > much was given in alms, whether a solemn anniversary was performed,
> etc.
> > Hope this helps.
> > Megan
> >
> > Megan McLaughlin
> > Associate Professor of History and Women's Studies
> > University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
> > 309 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St.
> > Urbana, IL  61801     U.S.A.
> > Phone:  217-244-2084
> > Fax:  217-333-2297
> > E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
> --
> John B. Wickstrom
> Kalamazoo College
> [log in to unmask]