Monday, July 02, 2007

To robe or not to robe

Dave's albMatt, a United Methodist pastor and author of the Catching Meddlers blog, asks if wearing of robes can get in the way to communicating the gospel message. John the Methodist, author of Locusts and Honey blog, picked up on this and his entry has over a dozen comments already.

My two cents -- if a particular vestment gets in the way of communicating with the pastor's current congregation, change the vestment. It's the message that counts, not the garment. Or as my Dad used to say, it's the potatoes that count, not the potato sack.

Some congregations may feel that wearing of robes is being "overdressed". Heaven forbid [pun intended]. Others may have a tradition of the pastor wearing robes in winter and a suit or even less casual in the summer. Others may prefer a less formal vestment such as an alb or even just a clerical shirt and collar.

The key appears to me to be the pastor and congregation arriving at a "dress code" that does not distract nor detract from the spiritual message being delivered via the worship service.

I did find David's comment at the Catching Meddlers blog educational:
"... the robes traditionally worn by Methodist pastors are known as "academic robes" and are testament to their accomplishments in that arena. To me, an alb is a symbol of humility and service that does more to link me with the congregation rather than to highlight how "smart" I am."

1 comment:

Dave said...

Ditto. David's Comments are exactly when I wear and alb and not an "academic" robe.