Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church, wearing a Russian-style skufia with jewelled cross (Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia)

A skufia (also skufiya, skoufia or skoufos; Greek: σκούφια or σκούφος) is an item of clerical clothing, a cap, worn by Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Lutheran and Eastern Catholic monastics (in which case it is black) or awarded to clergy as a mark of honor (in which case it is usually red or purple).


A skufia is a soft-sided brimless cap whose top may be pointed (Russian style),[1][2] flat and pleated (Greek style),[3] or flat with raised edges (Romanian style).[4] Typically, monastics receive their skufia either when they first become a novice or when they are tonsured.[5] A monk or nun who has been tonsured to the Great Schema will wear a skoufia that has been embroidered with prayers, crosses, and figures of seraphim.[6]

High-ranking bishops (such as archbishops and metropolitans) will sometimes wear a black or purple skufia with a small jewelled cross on informal occasions.[7] A nun will sometimes wear a skufia over her monastic veil;[8] while monks often wear the skufia (without a veil) when the klobuk or epanokamelavkion might get in the way of work.

See also


  1. ^ The Russian-style skufia is traditionally pulled down so that it covers the top of the ears. This is practical, to keep out the cold; but it also has a symbolic practice, reminding the monk not to listen to gossip.
  2. ^ thumb_p2433d.jpg Archived October 13, 2003, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 9 October 2015 Skufia Russian style
  3. ^ "Image: red.jpg, (204 × 170 px)". Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Image: red2.jpg, (217 × 151 px)". Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Ambr6.jpg". Archived from the original on 7 April 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  6. ^ "1115". Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  7. ^ DSC_0006.jpg Archived February 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ long.protest.ap.jpp.jpg Archived February 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine

General bibliography