Thoughts on matters clerical
Before I go down the mountain todat to see my sweet Mum: A question was raised about clerical dress. I grew up in a tradition where the “preacher” wore very nice business suits and even as a child I thought this was not kosher. Robes even a “preaching gown” was considered “Catholic” though we did have one preacher who wore a large white robe to baptize folkes. What was supposed to be as they say now “sacred space” was called the “auditorium” which I thought was the term for public school assemblies and the pulpit which was always in the center with the choir, interestingly enough in robes, directly behind the preacher. I could never understand why the preacher dressed like the banker I do now however!
A wee short lesson: a person is “the preacher” ONLY when he or she is in the pulpit! The business suit is NEVER appropriate for the servant of the Servants neither is thousand dollar cloth vestments. Clerical collars should be, should be, a simple and quiet statement that as the
servant of the Servants you are available and welcoming not imperial or autocratic.
Sacred Space in a building should always be the “Sanctuary” and it should be without ANY national or state flags. Beautiful art and colours are perfectly acceptable as long as they are testaments to the “why” of the sanctuary.
The pulpit should never be the center but rather the Table and Cross which is why you are there in the first place. The sermon is not for entertainment but for edification. Rock so called “gospel bands” and other trios along with the contrivances thereunto appertaining are for the stage NOT for the Sanctuary. Extremes such as priests or pastors dressed as clowns with a “talking stick” and bells or U2 “masses” are good shock value but are mostly fluff without substance!
Lastly we go to Liturgy which is the “work of the People of God” to worship not to be made comfortable nor to have a consumer choice menu of “spirituality”. Church was never intended to be “user friendly”!
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