Saturday, November 10, 2012
It's a square, soft, foldable cloth hat with four ridges and sharp corners. It's the only headgear officially sanctioned for Anglican clergy to wear in church (aside from Bishops' mitres, of course, presumably.) Usually black, bishops get to wear a purple version though if they wish.
Rev. Bosco Peters writes, "The Canterbury cap is Anglican head-covering, essentially the medieval birettum, descended from the ancient pileus headcovering. Make your own conclusions from the Anglican version being soft and foldable, whereas the biretta, its Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation equivalent, is rigid." ( http://liturgy.co.nz/millinerianism/260 )
The cap can look quite jolly, depending on the person wearing it, I suppose. Here it is, worn by Father Ron Smith of New Zealand: http://en.gravatar.com/kiwianglo#photo-1
Here is a wikipedia entry on the topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterbury_cap