Blog-within-a-Blog

  • Seven Mistakes Every Church Should Avoid
    Whether you agree with any or all of the "mistakes" mentioned in this article, it is certainly worth the read and can serve as a helpful springboard for discussion on the biblical/theological/historical nature of the Church.
  • Why men have stopped singing in church
    A fascinating discussion is unfolding at churchformen.com regarding the disappearance of singing (especially by men) in most churches with a contemporary bent. Although I consider worship to be much more holistic and diverse than what the author is focused on, the discussion there is nonetheless a worthwhile read.
  • The Anglican-Episcopal Divide Widens Further
    NT Wright offers a honest and somewhat heavy-hearted perspective regarding The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the U.S., and their decision to further formalize their decision to appoint to all orders of ministry, persons in active same-sex relationships. This marks a clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion.
  • "I Am Second"- Incredible Personal Stories
    Personal testimony stories are a dime-a-dozen on the internet. YouTube and a plethora of other sites offer them. But you will NEVER find striking personal stories about life and loss and struggle and victory and faith like you will encounter at www.iamsecond.com. This is a resource site you MUST visit for yourself and then bookmark.
  • Charles Wesley's secret code diary cracked by priest
    An Anglican priest has unlocked the 270-year-old secrets of Charles Wesley's coded diary, throwing light on the turbulent relationship that he had with his brother John in the early years of the Methodist movement they founded... The “hidden” material offers an insight into Wesley's fierce determination to prevent the Methodist societies from breaking away from the Church of England, and disagreements with his more influential older brother.
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 08/2003

Technorati

« Being Friendly Without Being Friends | Main | Pastor of Christian Formation and Youth Needed »

March 13, 2006

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

maybe you just need robes that arent as puffy. Get an alb from Autom and hang a stole around your neck. No one will say you look like a princess then. They might say Jedi, but not princess.

I think that if your robe could also be used as a mu-mu then its time to pull it all back in.

Or, just get a wand with a star on the end and just go with the whole princess thing. You'll have a big childrens church in no time. And you can use your own robe for the flannelgraph!

Whats good about Orthodox robes is that they look very sci-fi. And, as we all know, sci-fi is mostly for males. but they are shiny enough for kids.

Chris-
I think you hit on an important topic. Not only do we need to educate people in our post-christian society in the symbols, vocabulary and practices of our faith, but we also need to teach the significance of those. We can teach the "what's" and the "how's", but if we can't connect the "why's" along with them, then we risk coming off as a dinosaur close to extinction.

"Or, just get a wand with a star on the end and just go with the whole princess thing. You'll have a big childrens church in no time. And you can use your own robe for the flannelgraph!"

LOL!!! I love it, Rev. Fr. Stan. Now I know why I chose those velour panels (and I thought they were only for holding my stoles in place when needed)!

"Not only do we need to educate people in our post-christian society in the symbols, vocabulary and practices of our faith, but we also need to teach the significance of those."

Yep, Dave. You're right.

For many churches though, this represents a paradigm shift away from a "seeker" approach which deliberately ommitted much of this.

I serve a church where the danish cassock with ruff, surplice, stole and casuable (expanation) used to reign supreme and now the alb is taking over. Some of the people find the alb less then flattering (nightgownish) while the cassock is heavy and uncomfortable winter or summer (too cold outside, too hot inside). Nothing beats the cassock though, for really festive occations.

What does work is using gowns to every service. People get used to the garments more quickly. A bit like getting used to the clergical collars. Now what I REALLY want to try out is a killer Hawaiishirt with clergical collar. That should be able to raise a few eyebrows.

It's probably worth remembering too that ceremonial robes are part of televisual culture: just look at programmes like "Buffy..." and see such things used as part of the ritual actions of at least some groups. We should also recall that -at least in the UK- things like weddings often see people wearing things that they would be very embarrassed to wear to work or to a meal out [morning suits in extravagant cloths and colours, for instance], so it's not like our culture has lost the idea of special clothes for special occasions. What I do think we need to do is to be prepared to think about what we do wear in the light of the wider cultural vocabulary relating to clothes. For example, I think that the cassock/alb still has resonances of religious orders and has been adopted by some 'new' religous groups for ceremonial purposes.

Practicality and context comes into it too. I used to lead a eucharistic service where the communion table was about 30cm [12"] off the floor and where I knelt using a prayer stool to preside and the other participants sat around -many on bean bags and floor cushions. My cassock-alb was positively dangerous in that context as well as being overdressed. So I tried to dress in a way that was both 'serious' but relaxed, in this case I opted for black trousers and a black roll-neck sweater over which I put a stole [which I usually put on at the start of the service as a signal that we were getting underway].

One of the things lacking in the modern church is "reverence". Now, I am not syaing that we can't use the sanctuary for a fellowship hall for a pot luck dinner. But, I would never have dreamed of running in the sanctuary when I was a young child. Someone... anyone... would have snatched me up by the hair of the head and made sure I didn't do that again.

I miss some of the symbols and practices of the past that made me enter the sanctuary with an attitude of worship. A robe, a clerical collar, a choir (not a "praise band!") all can call us to an attitude of reverence and worship.

"What I do think we need to do is to be prepared to think about what we do wear in the light of the wider cultural vocabulary relating to clothes."

Andii, you're right. Our church's "invite card" has a pair of comfortable denim pants on the front, with the words "Church Clothes" written across the top. Although I am beginning to wear the robes for special occasions, I prefer to wear common clothing the rest of the time. Do you feel I'm wise to do so? I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts.

LOL

I've mentioned this before on your blog, but I get similar feelings from our wearing of veils. It's so beautiful, such a visual reminder of the clothing of the church by our Lord (I get choked up when I think of this). As well as a tactile and visual reminder of what we are gathering to do.

P.S. Fr. Stan, you know you love those "man muu-muus". ;)

I've always been a fan of dressing up for sundays. I mean, really, what's the point of having a holy God and not look nice when going to meet in his or her house?

Yes, Chris, I think you'd be wise to lead with example here, the holy space becomes more festive when the minister wears churchgarments. The flock will accept and follow, because it's "church".

Hi Chris, I feel the same as Carlos in regard to adding to the occasion by the addition of a sacred symbol. I happen to be the new lay pastor that Chris consecrated Sunday, and I requested that he wear the robe. The event was very special to me and I really wanted it to seem as sacred and holy to those who joined in sharing it with us. Thanks Chris for taking that little "hit" for me. You're a real "Prince." (:)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Desert Pastor

My Photo