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Priestly Clothing

Have you ever wondered why our Pastors (Vicar and Priests) wear shirts with a special collar? Why he sometimes seem to wear a “dress”? Why he wears certain colours on some Sundays? Is it to match the Communion Table?

Read on to find out!

by Brenda Tan

Clerical Clothing are “everyday” clothes that Priests wear during the week.

Clerical Shirt

A Priest wears a “Clerical Shirt” (of any colour) with a special white collar to show that he’s a priest. Purple shirts are only worn by the Bishop. The collar is an outward symbol of the clergy being separate from the secular world.

Liturgical Clothings are clothes Priests wear during a church service when they administer the Holy Communion, or on special occasions like Confirmation or Baptism.

Communion Vestments: Cassock, Girdle and Stole

During a Holy Communion Service, our Pastors will put on these Vestments

to celebrate the Communion. Do you know what these pieces of clothes are


For Worship Services where the Priest administers the Holy Communion, he wears special clothes called Vestments. The Vestments reminds us that the Priest and leaders are not acting on their own, but serving in their roles in service.

Long ago, when people were baptised, they were immediately clothed in a white tunic. The white, long-sleeved Cassock is a reminder of baptism and a symbol of the resurrection on the Last Day.

The Cassock is usually worn with a Girdle (or ‘Cincture’), which is a rope belt. Jesus told Peter that when he was old, someone would tie him with a belt and take him where he did not want to go (John 21:18KJV). The Girdle also signifies that the person is bound in service to Jesus.

Long ago, slaves wore workcloths around their neck. Stoles (the long scarf worn by the Clergy) now reminds the wearer that he puts on the yoke of Christ, and shows him to be a slave of Christ and a servant to the congregation.

Deacons wear the Stole across the body (like the way Jesus wrapped the towel across His body to wash the Disciples‘ feet), but the Priest wears it either hanging free around the neck or tied to the body with the Girdle.

Answer to pictorial question: A: Cassock B: Girdle C: Stole


Writer’s Profile:

Brenda is a mother to 3 amazing children: Ethan, Edna and Ezra. She is also wife and business partner to Noel. She enjoys cooking, crafting, Facebooking and Googling.


This article first appeared in Issue 7, April 2013 CHORUS Magazine.



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