Liturgical Nerd Notes
During Advent I have worn a vestment (liturgical article of clothing) during communion called a chasuble. I have worn chasubles before, but not often. I usually only wear them on high church holidays (e.g. Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost). When I do wear them I’ve worn them for the whole service. After one of the Sunday services in Advent someone asked what my vestment was and why I waited until communion to put it on. This Nerd Note will hopefully clarify up the questions surrounding the chasuble.
These are the three chasubles I own. The two on the left were a gift from the congregation for my installation in 2017.
I wrote about the chasubles very briefly in our Christmas edition of The Spire in 2017 (hence, “Chausable 2.0”):
“These are truly beautiful garments which bring the question…what the heck is a chasuble? This is a high-liturgical vestment (a.k.a fancy church poncho) worn in honor of the sacrament of Holy Communion.”
When it comes to worship the common practice for our church, and many of the Western
churches, is for the ordained minister of the congregation to wear an alb and a stole for worship. These two vestments, alb combined with stole, are a sign of occupation and authority. They let everyone know who is leading worship and the qualifications they have. (Short fact
: You do not have to be ordained to wear a collar but you do need to be ordained to wear a stole.)
There has been a movement in some of the Western Protestant
churches, mainly Lutheran
, to start wearing chasubles again. Like the stole, is should match the color of the season (e.g. blue for Advent
, red for Pentecost
, white for Christmas
). As stated earlier, chasubles are worn in honor of Holy Communion
. Due to its connection to Holy Communion
it would be improper to wear this vestment for a non-communion worship service.
This vestment’s Holy Communion
connection also gives the pastor two choices on when to put it on. (1) If you consider the whole of the service to revolve around Holy Communion
you may wear the vestment for the entire worship service. (2) If you would like to highlight the vestment’s connection with Holy Communion
you may wait until that portion of the worship service to put it on. For Advent
I went with option (2), but I usually do option (1) for high church holidays.
I hope this is helpful. Feel free to come to me about questions you have about worship and things of the church. Who knows…it might turn into another helpful Nerd Note!