A couple of recent posts on my last installment on this topic has had me thinking some more about wearing a clerical collar. Here's what Father Deacon Raphael (fdr) had to say:
We Orthodox have a slightly different take (of course).
First, the "collar" is not really Orthodox. Some Orthodox jurisdictions disdain it completely, others have embraced it, but most see it as an alternative to traditional clergy attire. The Riassa or cassock....usually black.
2nd, there is no "option." We are supposed to wear it at all times, because we are always a deacon, a presbyter, a bishop. It is not a way to get people to notice you....although they do. Its an obedience. And while it often has the advantages talked about in this post and comments, it has its disadvantages. You can never just "blend in."
...Bottom line, even though I work a secualr job (which has its own uniform), I strive to obediently wear my cassock (or collar) at all times in the community. I can never forget I am a servant in the house of the Lord....pretty humbling thought.
This hit me pretty hard. It's the thought that a clerical collar points to one's calling and responsibility -- something we can't "turn on" or "turn off" as we choose.
I wonder how often evangelicals (like me) are glad for the relative annonymity we so often live in? I for one have certainly been guilty in the past of not wanting, any distinguishing marks on my vehicle (e.g. decal, license plate frame) alerting people to my faith and profession (I say this with shame). Choosing to wear a clerical collar only during hospital visits or funerals (mentioned in the comments to previous posts) is one thing; but those who choose to wear the collar regularly choose to forfeit their annonymity on a daily basis (or at least whenever they're in public). I respect that. It has me pondering the commitment I may need to make if I choose to don the collar.
What are your thoughts?