(koukoulion, cucullus, cuculla, cucullio. -- Ducange, "Gloss.", s.v.).
A hood worn in many
religious orders. The name was originally used for a kind of bag in
which grocers sold their wares (ibid.), then for an article of dress
that was like it in shape. The lacerna or byrrhus (our cope), the usual
cloak for outdoor wear until far into the Middle Ages, had a cowl fixed
behind, that could be drawn over the head. So also had the poenula
(chasuble -- Wilpert, "Gewandung der Christen", pp. 13, 45, etc.;
Braun, "Liturg. Gewandung", pp. 240, 348). Juvenal (VI, 118) and
Martial (XI, 98) refer to the cucullus of the lacerna. Sozomen says
that monks covered their heads with a hood called cucullus (H.E., III,
xiii), and Palladius disciples of Pachomius (Hist. Laus., XIII). Both
St. Jerome (Ep. xxii, ad Eustochium) and Cassian (De habitu mon., I,
iv) refer to it as part of a monk's dress. St. Benedict ordered two
kinds of cowls for his monks, a warm one for winter and a light one for
summer (Regula S. Ben., lv). The cowl became a great cloak with a hood.
Benedict of Anagni forbade his monks to wear one that came below the
knees (Ardo, Vita Ben. Anian., xl). The Benedictines, Cistercians, and
all the old monastic orders now use the cowl, a great mantle with a
good that can be thrown back over the shoulders, as a ceremonial dress
for choir; the Franciscans have a smaller hood fixed to their habit;
canons wear it on their mozzetta, and bishops and cardinals on the
cappa. With the Augustinians and Servites it is still a separate hood
not attached to anything. Ducange says the name is a diminutive of
casula -- "quasi minor cella". A cowl fixed to a cloak is still
commonly worn in Tyrol, parts of Austria and Hungary, etc. Cucullata
congregatio occurs occasionally as a general name for monastic orders
(Ducange). The colour of the cowl is that of the habit, black among
Benedictines, white with the Cistercians, etc.
Written by Adrian Fortescue. Transcribed by Marcia L. Bellafiore.
The Catholic Encyclopedia,
Volume IV. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil
Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of