As a clergy member, your clothing choices during service are an important aspect of your role. The surplice is a traditional garment that's been a part of Christianity for centuries, mainly due to it being a symbol of purity that is often worn during special events including: baptisms, weddings, and communion.
However, like any piece of clothing, it can sometimes be troublesome to find a surplice that fits perfectly with your body type. After all, there are just as many different body types as there are different sizes of clergy surplices. As much as possible, you want to choose one that will fit you perfectly so as to avoid distracting your congregation from the rites and prayers.
But are surplices still important in this day and age? What significance do they hold in today's churches?
A Short History of Surplices
The origin of the surplice can be traced back to the early Christian church. Originally, they were worn by the lower clergy as a type of alb or tunic. Later on, the surplice was adopted by the higher clergy as a way of distinguishing themselves from the laity.
It was around the time of the Middle Ages that the surplice became a more prominent part of the liturgical wardrobe, most especially in the Catholic Church. Even to this day, surplice are often worn by priests and bishops when celebrating mass, as well as during other religious ceremonies.
Because of their longstanding history with Christianity, surplices in the Anglican Church have also been a part of the liturgical vestments since the 16th century. Just as with Catholics, they are typically worn by clergy during services, particularly for the celebration of Holy Communion.
Over time, surplices have changed and evolved, and are now available in various styles and designs, sometimes retaining their plain and simple look, and sometimes appearing more ornate and decorative. Despite these changes, the underlying symbolism of the surplice as a symbol of purity and humility has remained consistent throughout its history.
Choosing A Surplice that Fits You Perfectly
1. The Proper Length
The first thing you should consider when browsing through available clergy surplices is the length. Too long or too short can create an unflattering look that may very well hamper your movement. To determine the right length for your surplice, measure from your shoulder to your ankle. A surplice that falls just above your ankle is typically the perfect length.
2. The Right Fit
After length, fit is the next most important factor to consider when picking out a surplice. Comfort is important as you should be able to move freely during service. Not finding the right fit, after all, may also lead to an accident.
A surplice that is too tight or too loose can be distracting and uncomfortable, taking attention away from what's most important: the service. The key is to find the right balance between comfort and style.
3. Select the Right Fabric
Choosing the right fabric for your surplice is important because it can greatly impact the appearance, comfort, and durability of the garment. Different types of fabric can create different effects and may be better suited for different occasions or climates. Here are a few examples of the effect of different types of fabric:
Cotton - Lightweight, breathable, and comfortable, cotton is a popular choice for surplices. It is also easy to care for and can be machine washed. However, cotton may wrinkle easily and may not hold its shape as well as other fabrics.
Polyester - Durable and easy to care for, polyester is another common choice for a surplice because it's also quite resistant to wrinkles and can hold its shape well.
Silk - Elegant, beautiful, and luxurious, silk is a lightweight and smooth fabric with a magnificent drape. Of course, because of its more delicate nature, silk may require extra special care to maintain its appearance.
4. Consider the Design
When choosing a surplice, it's important to consider the design and style that will best suit your needs. While some may be drawn to intricate patterns and ornate details, a simple and classic design can be more practical and versatile.
A simple surplice can be worn in a variety of settings and can easily be paired with different liturgical colors and accessories. It also allows the focus to be on the message being delivered rather than on the clothing itself.
Get Your Surplices Online
At Divinity Clergy Wear, we offer a wide range of clergy surplices online, making it easy for you to find the perfect one for your body type. Available in different lengths, sizes, and designs, our surplices are made from high-quality fabrics that are certain to last.
We also offer surplices that come as part of a full package, including a cassock and other essential items for your wardrobe. Rest assured! You're purchasing high-quality clergy surplices that are comfortable, durable, and designed to last.
Visit our website today and browse our selection of surplices to find the perfect one for your body type!