« America's Testosterone Problem | Main | The Young Man »

June 05, 2014



As an Anglican, I've never quite understood the aversion of my friends in the CREC about black clerical shirts. You can almost identify a CREC pastor by their use of anything but black. And I'll freely admit I do own a grey clerical shirt.

When I asked one of my friends in the CREC about this, he told me he thought the reason for this was because CREC clergy don't want to be mistakenly identified as Roman Catholic priests.

Here's the thing: black is not only identified with the role of clergy, but it is associated with sobriety. I think that's entirely fitting for a Protestant clergyman. The Lutherans certainly seem to agree. So that factor, combined with my inherent conservatism, means I'm totally at ease with the black shirts and a ring collar, and I trust nobody questions my Protestantism!


Daniel, my aversion to black is purely stylistic. Out here in So Cal people know your clergy when you have a band collar shirt on but I don't think anyone cares beyond that (color). Black just doesn't go well with a range of different color suits. I think blue is more versatile, particularly, when you have options in range of color and pattern (well, we'll see how that turns out when I get my shirts from MT).


I wear black on Sunday and Oxford Blue during the week. I normally order from Almy, but they are expensive. I'll be interested to see how yours turns out, Garrett.

Lue-Yee Tsang

It is upon sound aesthetic principles that people wear blue or grey suits in the daytime, saving black for nighttime and funerals. Nevertheless, if the clergy are going to be wearing shirts with clerical collars at all, the point is already otherwise. As it is with academic gowns, black in clerical dress signifies sobriety and gravitas, and for a cleric it also serves as a memento mori. As George Herbert says, ‘The Countrey Parson is generally sad, because hee knows nothing but the Crosse of Christ, his minde being defixed on it with those nailes wherewith his Master was: or if he have any leisure to look off from thence, he meets continually with two most sad spectacles. Sin, and Misery; God dishonoured every day, and man afflicted.’ If black makes a cleric look a little like an undertaker, even if only in aspect and not in detail, I think the effect is just right.


Except nobody wears black in Scripture (the robes are all white). So, blue is a nice in-between spot for those who don't like white clericals. ;)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • California
  • Cathedral
  • Men at work
  • 2
  • GRANT HEIGHTS 1970 TO 1974 -48
  • Tiny church
  • Worshipping
  • Judotime
  • Oblivion
  • Bored_in_church
  • Saipan