Procedures for Novices and Concluding Material

About an honest dress

There is another precept about honest dress, by which the honesty of the religious and the disparity between the religious, as well as the disparity between the lay and the religious is set forth. The transgressor of this precept is by law punished more than any other. The transgressors of this precept even incur apostasy, which is excommunication from the laws. By these laws, if anyone in old times was absolved if he had immersed himself in riches, it was done only irregularly. In the precept it is said thus: it is forbidden for the religious to go out through their parishes without the cowl and they should not go out beyond the allowable bounds because the cowl is superior, and what is more general should be out in public. The dress is necessary in the church and greatly convenient at home. Equally it is stated that all honesty should be observed in dress. The dress is forbidden to the curious, the forward, the nosy; it should not be opened before the open, [bassi sotulares nisi infermis], nor to anyone who is known for their curiosity. Thus it is stated in our rule: let your dress not be unusual, etc. And again: as you all feed from the same cellar, thus do you dress in the same fashion. Conformity of dress in shape and color should be observed as much as possible. As for material, those of greater status can take them from the better types of cloths, since you do not all fare equally.

It is known that because of this conformity in dress it was ordained that our associates living outside the church should dress from the vestiments of the church in the same way and at the expense of the prior and the curates with whom they are staying. This was done because of the rule for conformity.

It is also known that we are talking about the conformity of dress here because according to the rule there should be some difference between the dress of the professed and that of the non-professed. And this was the cause for which it is said that anyone who stays in some church for a whole year and takes up the dress of the professed cannot afterwards come back to his original church and dress. The difference in this church is that the cowl of the novices is entirely closed and that of the professed is not.