Do Clothes Make the Man? Keeping the Cassock


by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

(The cassock) has a history connected with sacrifices, struggles, tears and blood. … To clergy the cassock reminds them that they are spiritual physicians and not just social workers. The life of the cleric is sacrificial, an ongoing offering that requires the coming out of one’s self to offer himself to others. This is connected with the struggles, the sacrifices, the patience in slanders and the criticisms of the people.

Ultimately I believe that the cassock does not make the work of the clergy more difficult, but rather it is the high mission of the Priesthood that is difficult.

The Church moves slowly with changes as is the same in every culture, so as not to simultaneously eliminate the deeper aspects of its tradition. Any change should be handled with care to ensure the essence of ecclesiastical life. The Church should not easily alter to any new thing, because there lurks the danger of alienation.




  1. Rdr. Sean Reid says:

    Thank you for this!

  2. Fr. John Claypool says:

    We must remember as clergy that Saint Pachomius was told by the Angel not only about the importance of looking like clergy for the faithful, but that the cassock and hat protected you from your spiritual enemies.

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