Do you ever wonder about the fancy and strange get-up that I wear at our weekly worship services? I do admit, it is a little unusual. However, there is a reason behind all three of the pieces that I wear every Sunday.
- Alb. Alb means white (imaginative, I know). It is that white robe that I wear under everything else, and is traditionally worn by all those serving in worship (deacons, servers, crucifers…etc). The alb ultimately signifies an identity in Christ. It is a reminder that at the most basic level, I am a beloved child of God speaking to the beloved children of God.
- Stole. The stole is the scarf-like thing that I wear around my neck. It changes colour based on the day. Deacons wear stoles too, but they get to wear theirs jauntily on the diagonal. Stoles signify ordination, and it is a reminder of the role that I have been called to in this community. Every time I take on or off a stole, I kiss it. I do this to acknowledge the amazing gift and responsibility that I have: serving God, and serving you, the people of God.
- Chasuble. The chasuble is that big, colourful piece of fabric that I wear on top of everything else, it also changes colour to match the stole. This is the piece that not every priest or minister chooses to wear. I wear it because every time we gather for the Eucharist, it is a feast, a celebration, a party. And what should I wear for a party but my best party clothes. The chasuble signifies celebration. The idea is not to draw attention to myself, but to indicate that something exciting is happening when we gather together, that God is present. It is an offering to God – a form of visual worship.
Something that I love about our tradition is that our prayer, our worship, even our theology, is expressed in more than just words. It can be a mutli-sensory experience, engaging sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste; it can involve music, art, food, movement, and maybe even fabric.
Thanks be to God!