Algoma Deanery Week of July 11

Good day,

It’s a slow week so here is a brief FYI about what the presbyter wears on a Sunday:

When Celebrating the Eucharist: the presbyter (priest) may wear a long white garment called an alb. This is actually the traditional garment of all the baptized which is why servers and Lay Readers also wear white albs.  Technically, everyone in the pews could also attend service in their best Sunday alb – except those who are not baptized yet, of course.  Over the alb, the presbyter wears a chasuble of the colour of the liturgical season. The chasuble represents the seamless robe which our Lord Jesus Christ wore. Traditionally, the presbyter draped a maniple – originally, a towel – over the left wrist. This was a sign of the servant, reminding us that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and came not to be served but to serve.  Over the alb, but under the chasuble, the presbyter wears a stole across his/her shoulders. The stole represents the yoke of Christ who said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me” (Matt.11:29).  

When Presiding at Other Services other than the Eucharist: The presbyter usually wears a black cassock with a white surplice over top followed by a stole or scarf and a hood. The surplice is a descendant of the alb and comes from the Latin super pelissum which means, “over the fur coat.”  In cold medieval churches the presbyter wanted/needed to stay warm during the service by keeping his coat on. In order for an alb to fit over such a large garment, it needed to be large and roomy with wide sleeves. Hence the birth of the surplice.  The scarf and hood were originally worn for warmth too. Now the scarf is a “preaching scarf” and the hoods are academic insignia. Each university has a distinct hood for each of its various degrees.  

For Your Devotions:

Monday, July 11th is the memorial of Benedict of Nursia, died about 547.. I’m sure  you’ll recognize Benedict as the father of Western monasticism as we know it.  Benedict was born in Italy in the late 5th century and began his spiritual career as a hermit. News of his sanctity spread and he was encouraged to become the abbot of a monastery. True to form, the lives of these early church heroes are never easy…Someone did not take kindly to Benedict’s zealous reforms (aimed at adding structure and spirituality to these sometimes questionable institutions), and tried to poison him. Benedict returned to his life as a hermit but, thankfully, returned to monastic life to develop his now famous “Rule” providing the structure of prayer, work, and study for a monk’s day. For more info:

Wednesday, July 13th is the commemoration of Henry, Missionary Bishop in Finland during the 12th century. Despite being venerated as a saint, the life and martyr’s death of Henry, an English bishop, is actually quite mysterious. Among other interesting ‘facts’, his murderer is said to have lost his scalp when he put on the dead bishop’s mitre. For more info:

In the joy of Christ,


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