HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
Priests Should Always Look Like Priests
Reasons Priests Should Wear the Cassock
1. The Cassock, Cassock or any Religious Attire sets Priests apart from the world as servants of Christ.
2. The Cassock makes Priests easily identifiable like Doctors & Policemen.
3. The Cassock reminds the Priest that while he is in the world, he is NOT of the world.
4. For the Priest, wearing of the Cassock is considered modest attire.
5. The Cassock prevents a Priest from the possibility of wearing inappropriate or offensive clothing.
6. The Cassock inherently evangelizes to those who are thinking of entering religious life.
7. Wearing of a Cassock or a Habit can help vocations, because, for example, religious orders which continue to wear their Cassocks or habits are prospering, while many orders that no longer wear the religious attire are no longer getting new members!
8. The Cassock is a continual profession of a Priests faith and everywhere a Priest goes in his Cassock, he publicly professes that faith.
9. Wearing a Cassock saves money. For example, with a Cassock, there is no need to shop for secular clothes which might require a change of style and colors each day.
10. In some areas, a Priest wearing a Cassock is in most cases, more likely to be treated with respect, because God fearing people typically respect Priests dressed in Cassock, unlike Priests who wear secular clothing; in addition, wearing the Cassock can help prevent Priests from being drawn into inappropriate situations.
It is IMPORTANT for Priests and Monks to understand that we are consecrated to God and we should ALWAYS look like Priests (or monks) because we have only one identity and that identity is being a Priest/Monk.
Some Priests might work a secular job to help support their particular Church, therefore they may need to acquire secular clothing for that position, but upon returning to their Church, they dress in their respective religious attire.
In our community, at the time of Investiture, when a Priest is clothed in the Cassock, his old clothes are left behind and in their place the Priest is invested in the Holy Cassock of Religion.
Old Attire left behind when the Priest is clothed in the Cassock.
In terms of the Monastic Priest, while doing so, the Abbot prays, “May the Lord clothe you a new man, who is created according to God in justice and holiness of truth.” Indeed, the Cassock is ultimately this: a sign of the new man who has renounced the world that he might be united to God and bring God to the world through his life of prayer and penance.
Some Priests honor the words of being clothed in the new man who has renounced the world, while others disregard the words and wear secular clothing so that they can, “fit in with others”, but a priest can NEVER be just one of the guys as he is Consecrated to God and as such can never be such. Some modern-day Priests say they find the Cassock cumbersome, but the wearing of the Cassock is part of our obedience and our daily carrying the Cross of Christ.
The saying goes, if you can do it in secular clothing, you can do it in the Cassock; and if wearing the Cassock is not appropriate where you’re going, then don’t go, but don’t stop wearing the Cassock.
Some Clergy say, the Cassock doesn’t make the Priest, but others like myself say that’s nothing more than a convenient excuse not to wear it. A Bus Driver wears a uniform to identify himself, as does a nurse and so on, their uniform is part of their profession, as is the Cassock for the Priest. But unlike the Bus Driver or Nurse who remove their uniform after work, the Priest is a Priest full time and he begins and ends his day wearing the Cassock.
To those Priests who lead a double life, I would like to say, we are Priests first and foremost, and any extracurricular activity we have, for example, being a drummer in a band, comes second…
…and again, if wearing the Cassock impedes you being in the band, then give up the band, not the Cassock because you are a Priest who happens to be a drummer, not a drummer who happens to be a Priest. And while we can do both, we are a Priest First and foremost!
In closing, please allow me to repeat, “Priests should always look like Priests. We have only ONE identity and that identity is being a Priest.”