Posted by: Wayne Robinson | April 13, 2011

Diei quote – Ecclesiastical Clothing

74. Decency in Apparel enjoined to Ministers.

THE true, ancient, and flourishing Churches of Christ, being ever desirous that their Prelacy and Clergy might be had as well in outward reverence, as otherwise regarded for the worthiness of their ministry, did think it fit, by a prescript form of decent and comely apparel, to have them known to the people, and thereby to receive the honour and estimation due to the special Messengers and Ministers of Almighty God: we therefore following their grave judgment, and the ancient custom of the Church of England, and hoping that in time newfangleness of apparel in some factious persons will die of itself, do constitute and appoint, …

That all the said Ecclesiastical Persons above mentioned shall usually wear in their journeys Cloaks with Sleeves, commonly called Priests’ Cloaks, without guards, welts, long buttons or cuts. And no Ecclesiastical Person shall wear any Coif or wrought Night-cap, but only plain Night-caps of black silk, satin, or velvet.

In all which particulars concerning the apparel here prescribed, our meaning is not to attribute any holiness or special worthiness to the said garments, but for decency, gravity, and order, as is before specified. In private houses, and in their studies, the said Persons Ecclesiastical may use any comely and scholar-like apparel, provided that it be not cut or pinkt; and that in publick they go not in their Doublet and Hose, without Coats or Cassocks; and also that they wear not any light-coloured Stockings.

Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical, Of the Church of England, 1604


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