What to wear on Trinity Sunday (and beyond)
In a brief respite from Tangled Up in Blue, everyone’s favorite scintillating tour through the Blue Book of General Convention, I thought I would turn our gaze toward fashion. Wait, what? Last Sunday we celebrated the Day of Pentecost. For whatever reason, clergy love to get everyone wearing red on Pentecost. Never mind that we don’t do goofy dress-up gimmicks any other Sunday. I wonder why we do this on Pentecost. *cough* The Holy Spirit makes us nervous. *cough*
Anyway, since the practice of wearing red on Pentecost seems to be spreading, I figured we might as well adopt more dress-up customs. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
So here are some ideas for dressing up on Trinity Sunday.
Many people may not realize that, unlike the chasuble, the cope is a vestment that may be worn by lay people in worship. So why let your priest have all the fun on Trinity Sunday? Come to church in a nice, gold cope. This one has lovely Trinitarian orphreys, so you’ll be all the rage of three-in-oneness.
If you think the cope is a bit much, here’s a t-shirt perfect for the occasion. Plus if you’re in one of those cool churches with a Celtic service on Sunday evening, you’ll be the paragon of Celtic hip.
Why should adults have all the fun?
Show that you love the Triune God and billiards in one fell swoop. Plus there’s a certain continuity from last week’s red-fest.
Sit in the front row, right in front of the pulpit. Whenever the sermon starts to stray into heresy (ignoring the lessons from St. Patrick about bad analogies) just clear your throat and point at your shirt. The preacher will thank you.
Last, but not least, nothing proclaims your au courant spiritual practices using icons combined with your hip embrace of evangelism quite like this hoodie featuring Rublev’s beloved Trinity icon.
But of course, Trinity Sunday is just one more day. I think it’s time to reclaim fashion-as-spiritual-practice throughout the year. Here are a few more ideas. Because clergy in their $1500 silk dresses shouldn’t be the only people who look fabulous on Sunday mornings.
You wore red on Pentecost, so I expect you’ll be wearing green on the 93 Sundays after Pentecost until it’s time for Advent. Here’s a way to get the kids involved and to remind everyone that you’re aware of the season.
The week after Trinity Sunday brings us to Proper 5, in which we hear a Gospel reading from Mark 3. Jesus says, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come.” I think you know what you have to wear to church for a reading like that.
The next week, June 14, we get to Proper 6 with its reading from Mark 4. Jesus says, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed…” There’s only one thing to do, obviously.
You might as well bring the dog, too.
On July 5, show that the church matters more than secular celebrations. Reject one possibility and embrace Gospel fashion. On Proper 9, Mark 6 brings us these words: “Jesus ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.” You can have an exemption for your contribution to the offertory and also your driver’s license.
July 12 brings us Proper 10 with its retelling of the creepy story of Salome demanding the head of John the Baptist. When it comes to off-putting Bible stories, I’ve always thought, in for nickel, in for a dime.
You get the idea. If you are one of the people who wore red last week, I’m expecting you to embrace liturgical fashion gimmickry every Sunday. Let’s see what you can do reimagine church fashion.
Reader suggestions for future Sundays are welcome in the comments!