Like the various parts of the liturgy, the special garments that the pastor wears, called “vestments,” also symbolize the teachings of Scripture. Vestments serve as visual reminders of what our Savior has done for us.

Alb – The long, white robe is called an alb. The alb is intended to cover the pastor, hide his personal clothing, and in a sense to mask his personality. This helps the worshipers to focus not on the person, but on his office. The pastor serves as a representative of Christ. He proclaims a message that is not from him, but from God. The white color of the alb also serves as a visual reminder that all believers are covered in the pure righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Stole – The strip of cloth that a pastor wears over his shoulders is called a stole. The stole symbolizes the yoke of humble service into which the Lord has called the pastor. It is a reminder to the congregation and to the pastor of his ordination into the pastoral ministry. The color of the stole corresponds to the liturgical color of the day.

Clerical Collar – The clerical collar serves as another visual symbol of the pastoral office. Pastors who wear the collar in public are easily recognizable to anyone who may be in need of spiritual assistance. The pure white collar over the voice box of the pastor also serves as a stark reminder that he is called to proclaim only the truth of Scripture.

Pectoral Cross – The pastor wears a cross on his chest. Like the larger altar cross, the pectoral cross may be a bare cross or a crucifix. The meaning of the crucifix is the same as that of the empty cross—both symbolize the sacrificial death of Jesus. Along with St. Paul, the pastor promises to proclaim “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).