Have you ever wondered why pastors dress the way they do, especially during worship?  The special articles of clothing that a pastor wears are called vestments. Here are a few items that our pastor typically wears:

Alb 

The long, white robe is called an alb.  The alb is intended to cover the pastor, to hide his personal clothing, and in a sense to mask his personality.  This helps the worshippers 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.  The stark contrast between the black clergy shirt and the white clerical collar is striking and eye-catching.  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 

On his chest the pastor wears a pectoral cross.  Like the larger altar cross, the pectoral cross may or may not include a corpus, a depiction of the crucified body of Jesus Christ.  A cross with a corpus may also be called 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).