1) The Roman collar is a sign of priestly consecration to the Lord. As
a wedding ring distinguishes husband and wife and symbolizes the union
they enjoy, so the Roman collar identifies bishops and priests (and often
deacons and seminarians) and manifests their proximity to the Divine Master
by virtue of their free consent to the ordained ministry to which they
have been (or may be) called.
2) By wearing clerical clothing and not possessing excess clothes, the
priest demonstrates adherence to the Lord's example of material poverty.
The priest does not choose his clothes-the Church has, thanks to her accumulated
wisdom over the past two millennia. Humble acceptance of the Church's
desire that the priest wear the Roman collar illustrates a healthy submission
to authority and conformity to the will of Christ as expressed through
3) Church Law requires clerics to wear clerical clothing (number 66 of
the Directory for priests, which itself quotes canon 284).
Published in March 2013.
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