The arms of the Most Rev. Kurt Burnette, Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Eparch of the Eparchy of Passaic which has parishes on the eastern seaboard of the USA from Connecticut to Florida. He was ordained and enthroned several months ago. Recently, Byzantine bishops in the USA have taken to using emblems composed of icons with the external ornaments of a coat of arms in a kind of hybrid. Bishop Kurt has chosen a genuine coat of arms. The motto is from Psalm 150 and says, “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet”. It alludes to the main charge of a hunting horn fashioned after the horn of Leys given to Alexander Burnett by Robert the Bruce in 1363. The Burnette family traces its origins back to the 11th Century. One of the bishop’s ancestors emigrated from Scotland to the American colony of New jersey in 1700. The cross of St. Andrew is a further allusion to Scotland as well as to the first called Apostle so revered in the Eastern Churches.
Father, if you look older arms of American Byzantine Catholic bishops prior to their dropping the Roman hat altogether, rather than green they used a violet hat. Any idea why this was done?
No, I don’t know. I often wondered that myself. I had always supposed that it was an attempt to differentiate the coat of arms from that of a Latin Rite Roman Catholic Bishop. I never thought it particularly “worked” and I think the form of coat of arms used today is better.