This article is about the ceremonial head-dress; see also mitre (disambiguation).
Mitre of Bishop Sztojkovics, Hungary, ca. 1860, stolen in 1989
The mitre or miter is a traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and Eastern Orthodoxy. In its modern form in the Western and Armenian rites it is a tall folding cap, consisting of two similar parts (the front and back) rising to a peak and sewn together at the sides. Two short lappets always hang down from the back. In the Eastern rites, it appears in the shape of a crown, often richly decorated with jewels and brocade and, in the case of a bishop's mitre, topped by a cross. The Eastern mitre does not have lappets.
Oriental Orthodox churches sometimes use mitres for their bishops, either of the Western or Eastern style. In the past, Coptic bishops have worn the ballin, an omophorion wound around the head like a turban. Syriac Orthodox bishops wear the maşnaphto (literally, 'turban') when presiding at the Divine Liturgy. This is a large, richly embroidered hood, often depicting the Holy Spirit as a dove. Armenian Orthodox bishops wear Western style mitres.
The right to wear the mitre is, by the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, confined to the pope, cardinals and bishops—though by papal privilege it may be worn by others such as abbots. In the Eastern Orthodox and counterpart Eastern Catholic Churches, it is properly worn by the bishop, but may be awarded to archpriests and archimandrites. The mitres of archpriests and archimandrites are not surmounted by a cross. The awarding of the mitre to priests in the Eastern churches is the prerogative of a synod.
The bishop in chess is represented by a stylized Western mitre.