Religious orders and congregations

Tonsure and corona


Father Baydal O.F.M. while giving his blessing on the occasion of his first Mass.

On the tonsure and the corona (crown) – two issues often misunderstood. The tonsure was a short cut of hair keeping the forehead, ears and neck uncovered, whereas the corona was shaved on the top of the head. Its diameter depended on the rank in the Church hierarchy: from an acolyte (ca. 3,5 cm) to the pope (ca. 13,5cm). Monks did not wear a proper corona but had a kind of ring of longer hair over their ears or shortly cut hair with two horizontally shaven lines. It was not the case with the members of mendicant orders, or at least with their novices, who shaved their heads in such a way that there was only a small ring of hair left. To cover the corona a zucchetto was used.