Brothers, we are not gnostics. What we wear projects an image to the world. Clericals, while not our preference, provide an outreach by our mere presence.
Clergy vesture is, no doubt, a dull irrelevancy in the minds of some, roughly equivalent to organising the flowers rota. For many, what the clergy wear would appear to be a merely practical distraction from the main, ‘spiritual’ business of the Church. Yet what the Church looks like in its worship, and how the clergy look as they exercise their ministry could never be extraneous or unimportant for those whose Lord took flesh, and who took physical bread and wine and blessed them. Lest we become Gnostics and imagine that the physical and practical are unspiritual, we must give proper attention to these things.
Indeed, to vest clergy in a suit and tie or Bermuda shorts vest, is no less an outworking of a theological and doxological position than to have them in cassock and surplice. Because we are not Gnostics, our bodies – and what we wear on our bodies – is important to us.
An enlightening reflection on cassocks and mission from…
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