n HTS : Theological Studies - Ministerial dress for worship in Southern Africa Presbyterianism

Volume 62, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



In view of Scripture, theology of worship, symbolism, history, tradition and current practice it is difficult, if not impossible, to come to any definite conclusions about ministerial dress in Presbyterian worship. The dissonance between the theological approaches of those who wear robes and those who do not, both of which positions are justifiable in the author's opinion appears to be the main problem. Another serious issue lies in the fact that this issue generates more emotion than insight when it is raised. Furthermore, robes are non-essentials with regard to how we express our faith. Thus an appropriate stance would be the exercise of "liberty of opinion ..." since it would be difficult to reconcile the diversity that already exists. Resolving the matter by legislating it for all time, is contrary to our Reforming tradition. A more sensitive, open approach will lead to decency and order, peace and mutual acceptance as far as this non-essential aspect of the life and witness of the Church is concerned.

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