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A Short Background of Clergy Robes and Stoles

By Aileen Smith
Clergy robes and stoles are the traditional garments usually found in Eucharistic activities of Christianity. These clergy robes could be worn under vestments like having mass ceremonies, or a day-to-day clothing of priest and ministers. The United Methodist Church in United States has no main policies on these garments. The use of it depends on the location and situation. The stole or the vestment is made from colourful fabrics, threads, patches, and embroideries. Its usage relies on the season celebrated by churches.

Stole derives from the Latin word, stola, and the Greek word, st ??? (stole), meanings “garment”. Before, it’s a kind of garment used to cover the shoulders, and fall down on front of the body. Even females used the larger ones to cover themselves.

Years passed, the adaptation of wearing clergy robes and stoles has actually continued. On the 7th century, the stole has been innovated to be narrower and more ornamented. It serves as a symbol of self-respect to the one who was wearing. However, during this era, it becomes wider and is made of various products invented by technology.

It is said that the stole was derived from the orarium, a liturgical napkin which is very just like the sudarium. The orarium was used to wash the feet of Christ’s disciples, where it signifies the yoke of service during the period of Christ. Its origin can also be traced on the scar being used by the Imperial officials of the Roman Empire.

The usage of the stole is most likely to reveal the belongingness of the individual to a company, along with, revealing that person’s rank in the group. However, unlike before, when these stoles are worn by many of the people or even laypersons, stole today is just used based upon the line of work of specific classes of people.

The clergy robes and stoles are said to have symbol and color that represents something. It implies the bonds of Jesus throughout his Passion, that’s why generally stoles have the cross design. Stoles also signify the duty of somebody in spreading the word of God. The church also set the liturgical colors for each liturgical season. There are resemblances of the colors being assigned to it in various Christian churches.

Some colors include Purple which used during the Lenten season, Development, and All Soul’s Day. It is the color used for stoles and coverings of the spiritual objects. An additional color is Green, which is used during Ferias in common time. Generally, this color is used throughout Sunday mass. The black clergy stoles could be discovered throughout Good Friday and All Soul’s Day. Red is also used throughout Good Friday, in addition to, on Palm Sunday and Pentecost days. The blue stoles clergy are used throughout the The tokos Feasts on Byzantine rights.

These garments- clergy robes and stoles have a vital job in the solemnity of the Eucharistic tasks. They are the symbols of authority which cause success and continuous custom of the Christian belief and practices.

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