On the Finer Points of Clergy Robes for Men
Feb 23rd 2021
If you adopt the perspective that there are two types of people, being those that have shopped for clergy robes for men and those that haven’t, the prospect of doing so will shift in significance. At the very least, it can probably be said that anyone who has shopped for clergy robes before will know what to look for. It can probably also be said that most of the time, you’ll be shopping for yourself, which eases the difficulty of the project.
Yet for those members of the clergy who have worn out the same rotation for months or even years of their liturgical tenures, shopping can be more daunting without asking the right questions and accounting for the right things.
For example, even though a first time buyer might have experience with clerical duties including officiating services and delivering sermons, shopping for clerical vestments is another matter altogether. Unless you’re shopping for a facsimile of the saame vestments you’ve always worn (and who’s to say you’ll even be able to find that) where do you even begin?
Luckily, we here at Divinity Clergy Wear are ready to help ease the burden of shopping for clergy robes, even for first time buyers. Here are some things you’ll want to take into account when you are shopping.
For one thing, the style of the clergy robes in question will matter, both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of the physical appearance of the robes. While different churches have their own observable rules for what ordained clergy men and women can and should wear, depending on the liturgical calendar and the service at hand, you’d be the best consultant on the matter. They all vary so you need to know what you should or should not be looking for, at least in terms of style.
For example, it is common for priests in a variety of different sects to wear a set of robes and a clerical stole when officiating a Eucharist service. At other times, it is advisable for supporting clergymen who are not actually delivering a service or serving as the celebrant to wear a cassock and surplice, sort of in the supporting role of an acolyte. Others reserve the cassock for priests who are not currently engaged in priestly duties.
Since we broached that subject, it’s important to remember that though some consider cassocks to be a vestment, they’re not considered robes, so they don’t fill the same function. Identify what your actual priestly duties are or have been and then you can focus on the styles of clergy robes for men that you actually want to buy.
2.Color makes a difference, too
In addition to the actual styling of the robes, the color of the robes will impact the set’s fitness for a given occasion or for use during certain times of the year. As a general rule, you may want to observe the following trends in color symbolism in church vestments:
●Black: Black is a very common color for church vestments as well as with supporting garments like cassocks. In fact, the stereotypical image of a cassock is a black one. Black is a somber color that invokes a feeling of sobriety and a serious air. It is also a color that serves as a reminder to the ordained that their duties are not only holy but secular as well.
●White: White is the color of purity and symbolizes the exalted perfection of divine love and charity. It also represents the hope of salvation and the eternity and spotlessness of love and goodness. White, like black, is not attributable to a time of year in the liturgical calendar, but rather for fitness to specific occasions at the discretion of the church or priest.
●Red: The color red has a few different symbolic interpretations. It can be variously seen as the color of passion, as the color of fire and flames, or as the color of blood. As the color of blood, it can represent the blood of the savior that was spilled and the passion of Christ; it can also symbolize the blood of martyrs that died keeping the faith. As a result of that, some priests wear red robes in commemoration of martyred saints’ feast days.
●Purple: Purple is a color that is often worn by Bishops, generally, although it has also come to symbolize penitence and mourning. As a result, purple is a color often associated with Lent, when we are encouraged to make sacrifices and to remember the gravity of sin.
●Silver, Gold and Blue: Silver, gold and blue don’t necessarily carry the same symbolic significance, but in some way or other, each of these colors has been associated with royalty and kingliness. Admittedly, in some situations purple has been as well, which is not the case with liturgical vestments, so in this case these colors vary.
Silver and gold are colors commonly associated with wealth and riches, and these symbolism the divine wealth of the heavenly kingdom. As for blue, it has been associated with royalty for hundreds of years if not longer and may represent the savior’s position as the Messiah, or king.
3.Objective features that equate to quality
Naturally, when you’re shopping for something that carries as much weight as clergy robes for men, quality is critical. It’s not like you’re buying a t-shirt or a new pair of pants. This is a purchase that you’ll want to last for years if not a lifetime, like a custom tailored suit. The only way to ensure that is to be able to identify quality where and when you find it.
You can take our word for it that our clergy robes (and all of our vestments and accessories) are made to the absolute highest standards of quality possible. They’re cut from heavy, high-quality cloth and to get a more familiar, more personal view of the quality displayed by them, you just need to take a closer look at some of their fine details.
For example, some of our robes for men are made with contrasting triple pleats at the bottom of the robe or along the back. This not only makes the robes more flexible but adds life, movement and color to them. You’ll also find that some of our robes are elaborately trimmed, embroidered, pleated, stitched or laced. Depending on what you’re looking at, the details will vary, but these are some of the quality-boosting features you’ll find in our robes.
4.It’s best if it fits you!
Here’s one little area of quality that is often overlooked, much to the chagrin of any shopper that has ever experienced it: sizing. Let’s say you’re shopping for clergy robes, perhaps even online as you’re doing right now, and you find something that really appeals to you. There’s just one catch; it’s not offered in a size that will work for you. This is an unfortunate enough occurrence when you notice it on the product page. It takes on a whole new light of disappointment when you only notice it once the robes get to you.
That’s one potential pitfall of online shopping; you can’t really know how clothing will look or feel on you until you actually try it on. For that reason (among others) we operate a showroom in Hamilton, New Jersey, where by which our valued customers are always welcome to stop.
However, we also make it a practice to sell clergy robes and other vestments in a range of sizes that leaves nothing to chance and no one lacking the proper sizing. Many of our robes are made in sizes from small all the way up through 8XL - just check our collections to see what we have in stock.
5.Other little perks
While you’re shopping for clergy robes for men, it may be beneficial to you to ascertain whether or not a given set of robes comes with anything else that you might find valuable. This might, of course, take the form of accessories like tippets, surplices, crosses or cords that you may need with the assembly of the ensembles, but it could extend into other areas as well.
As a quick example, you can opt to ship many of our robes and other vestments with the protection of a high-quality garment bag for only a nominal fee. We wouldn’t want your robes to arrive to you in less than pristine condition, and the addition of a garment bag makes this easy. That’s not even to mention the fact that you can use the same garment bag to protect your vestments for many years afterward!
6.Does the mood fit?
Something else to account for in the search for clergy robes is the general mood that is presented by the set of robes in question. In addition to color symbolism and synchronization, there are two distinct things you might want to accomplish by tinkering with the mood of a set of robes.
On the one hand, you might want to inspire confidence and a deep-seated sense of awe in your congregation. This is best done with personality and affect, but part of affect is accentuation with clerical vestments. You’d be wronging yourself if you said that your aesthetic comportment had nothing to do with the spirit of a service at all. For these types of situations, plain, undecorated robes in black or other neutral tones - sometimes even white robes - have the most markedly sobering effect
On the other end of the spectrum, you might want your clerical decoration to uplift the hearts and souls of the assembly. Just like a sober arrangement can create a reminder of severity, a bright and ornately decorated set of robes can do the opposite. That is, it can inspire levity of heart that is sometimes fitting for joyous services and occasions.
Lucky for you, we sell much more than just robes that are simply intended to inspire awe and reverence. We also provide designs that are beautiful, brightly colored and elaborately, ornately decorated that will fill onlookers with wonder and inspire them with appreciation and lightheartedness.
7.Does it come with anything else?
When you see a term like “robe and stole sets” you might be wondering what else you can get along with the robe, especially if you might be needing it. As you might have noticed, priests are often arrayed not only with a robe but with a clerical stole when they are presiding over a Communion service. For that reason, some of our robes are bundled with other necessities, like stoles.
Some of our Class A Vestments come with complete sets, including not only a cassock, cincture and surplice, but also a tippet, cross and cord. Other sets contain similar arrangements; check out our collection or call us at 877-435-3535 to learn more.
8.You may need other vestments
By the way, even if you’re looking for a specific vestment or other liturgical garment but don’t see it bundled with any of our clergy robes for men, that doesn’t mean we don’t sell it. We offer a huge collection of stoles and tippets, chimeres, cassocks and cinctures, surplices and much more right here on our website. We also provide clergy shirts, clergy robes for ladies as well as preaching dresses, and much more.
9.It helps to be able to interact with clergy robes for men before buying
Another thing to be aware of is that, as we stated previously, it’s sometimes highly valuable to be able to interact with clothing before you buy it, and that doesn’t preclude clerical garments.
For those of you reading this that would really like to be able to come visit us in store, we welcome you to come visit us in our showroom in Hamilton, New Jersey. Sometimes there’s no substitute for actually interacting with a garment before you buy it, and we understand that.
Of course, if you’re not in our neck of the woods, we still want to be able to furnish you with the best service in the industry. We’re never more than a call away, so if you have any questions on the quality or construction of any of our clergy robes or other vestments, by all means, call us at 877-435-3535.