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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Why the clerical collar?

It has its roots in antiquity

Where does the custom of wearing the white clerical collar originate and what is its purpose?

From antiquity, certain styles and forms of clothing have identified people according to rank and station in life as well as vocation. It wasn't until around the sixth century that clergy wore special dress outside the church building, and it has developed and changed through the centuries in plentiful variety. Black has been the dress color of clerics since the 17th century.

Why don't we talk more about how it will be when Jesus comes back to set up his kingdom here on earth?

I believe we talk a great deal about how it will be when God has finished the work that was set out and accomplished in Jesus. C.S. Lewis, in The Last Battle, calls it a "great story ... which goes on forever [and] in which every chapter is better than the one before."


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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