"And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty." - Exodus 28:2
Time-honored traditions are things we cherish in worship. One way we worship historically over many centuries is in making use of the arts. There has always been the music, the sights and sounds to fill the senses and thereby fill the faith! The Old Testament speaks there of the garments that vested the priests and how they were intended for “for glory and for beauty.” This is why we worship as we do, to reflect the beauty and glory of Christ and his word, to set your mind again on things above so that you respond in faith giving glory to God!
At Saint John we have had some beautiful pastoral vestments stored away for some time. These are called chasubles and they come in the various colors of the church year. These garments have historically been used for glory and beauty during the communion service. I am very much looking forward to making use of them soon in addition to the vestments I normally wear!
The image of being clothed in this way can remind the worshipper of God’s glory and beauty and the presence of the Spirit in his word. The pastoral clothing also covers the man emphasizing the greatness of this holy moment with God! This image of the chasuble as covering might also remind us of the righteousness of Jesus Christ given by faith to cover all our sin!
There are so many symbols in our church meant for the purpose of providing a sense of wonder and awe while reflecting the glory and beauty of our saving God! You might say it is to help enable us to experience a little heaven on earth. God grant that as we celebrate his presence among us we experience that moment of heaven on earth until we enter his presence in glory!