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.
gold cope

 

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.
holy trinity t-shirt

Why should adults have all the fun?
3 for kids

 

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.
three ball tshirt

 

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.
heresy shirt

 

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.
rublev hoodie

 

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.
geen costume

 

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.
satan horns

 

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.
colonel mustard

You might as well bring the dog, too.
dog mustard

 

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.
robe and sandals

 

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.
headless costume

 

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!

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3 Responses

  1. I actually heard an ordination sermon by the Primate of All Canada last Sunday remarking that it was the only day of the year when the laity manifested the pious custom of wearing the liturgical colour. I had a chuckle at this, as at our shack it’s the Rose Sundays that tend to inspire that kind of devotion!

  2. Verdery says:

    This looks suspiciously like the work of the other half of the Lent Madness SEC….

  3. When I was a few years younger, Pentecost was called Whitsunday because the hangings in church were white. Also, I understand our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters use green for Pentecost. So, other than its association with flame, when and why did we switch to red?

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