Skip to comments.Extreme Makeover: the Clergy Edition
Posted on 10/06/2013 3:58:21 PM PDT by NYer
The New York Times this weekend offered something surprising, a profile of the popular vestment manufacturer CM Almy, which is creating new fashions for female clergy:
Stephen Fendler, president of CM Almy, shows off a rack of samples from his brand-new womens collection, pointing out a piece hes particularly proud of: a black blouse in a stretchy jersey knit.
But Mr. Fendlers collections wont be seen on the runways anytime soon. CM Almy says it is the largest, and one of the oldest, American producers of clerical clothing, and its models are hitting the pulpit instead of the catwalk. Their designers create garments for priests, ministers and bishops mainly within the Episcopal, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches from everyday plain shirts and white collars, to the more elaborate and colorful ceremonial chasubles.
We have seasons, and items go in and out of style just like the fashion world, Mr. Fendler said. But our style changes are driven by evolutions in holy ceremonies. Nobody would call us the most fashion-forward company in the marketplace.
The family-run company has been making clerical clothing and supplies since 1892, when an uncle of Mr. Fendlers grandfather started the business near a seminary in Chelsea. Today, CM Almy is based in Armonk, N.Y., with a showroom in Greenwich, Conn. Mr. Fendlers brother and the companys vice president, Michael Fendler, runs the manufacturing end of the business in Maine. Among their clients are Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and the priests at St. Patricks Cathedral.
Clerical designs are bound to tradition and slow to change. But this fall for the first time, Stephen Fendler is revamping CM Almys womens line of everyday clothing to keep up with increased demand. In 2012, more than 20 percent of clergy were women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared with 14 percent 10 years ago. And Mr. Fendler estimates that about half the graduates from Episcopal seminaries are women.
For a long time, he said, Almy had offered casual, everyday clothing for female priests and ministers, but the shirts were man-tailored and made from a stiff cotton material. Over the years, he began to hear from women who wanted more options.
We want to represent the authority of a church, but we also want to look and feel like women, said the Rev. Anisa Cottrell Willis, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese in Lexington, Ky. Mrs. Cottrell Willis advised CM Almy during the design process. Most women dont like the way they look in the boxy, mens button-down shirts. She said. The job is dominated by men, but that doesnt mean we have to look like them.
Read the rest.
I always wondered where all those Bad Vestments came from!
May CM Almy soon go out of business.
Ooooh ... my eyes!!! Those vestments border on the psychedelic.
Is that supposed to suggest the planned parenthood “P” on that rainbow “mitre”?
What a wicked world we live in.
Yes, I believe so. And the rainbow flag for homosexuality, of course.
From the article:
“Clerical designs are bound to tradition and slow to change. But this fall for the first time, Stephen Fendler is revamping CM Almys womens line of everyday clothing to keep up with increased demand. In 2012, more than 20 percent of clergy were women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared with 14 percent 10 years ago. And Mr. Fendler estimates that about half the graduates from Episcopal seminaries are women.”
Clerical designs are bound to tradition and slow to change ... OK, agreed. But the next sentence simply takes that initial sentence out of the picture. There is nothing traditional about female clergy. Twenty centuries of Christian practice - which is, finally, driven by doctrine! - stand and shout to us of the 21st century that this is not to be. There is no such thing as female clergy in the Holy Christian/Catholic Church, whether women grasp that or not. There are only priestesses in places that are, whether they recognize it or not, post-Christian and pagan. Yes, it may well be that there are still some Christians in the crowd, even among the “priestesses,” overly tolerant, vacillating, and unduly influenced by the demands of current culture. But for the most part post-Christian neo-paganism is driving the agenda.
Almy, and other companies like it, are just going with principles of business, but they reveal much of the mindset of modern American Christendom. It is sad and, perhaps, irreversible. The gospel, as Martin Luther said, is a passing rain shower. It is, as far as I can see, moving to Africa. God have mercy on us who have the gospel and do not value it highly enough.
I had lots of bad vetments but then my stockbroker Vern retired.
That so 1960s White Rabbit colors
Far out MAN LOL!
There are only priestesses in places that are, whether they recognize it or not, post-Christian and pagan.
So no cloistered nuns painstakingly crafting these garments for the greater glory of God?
Ecumenical pectoral crosses
"That is sooooo TACKY!!"
Almy is better known for choir robes. Most of them are tacky, too. Including our horrible "Barney the Dinosaur" shocking purple ones. We need to have a fundraiser for black cassocks and white cottas.
Our priests buy their vestments from just such an order. I believe they are in Missouri.
Interesting how he has the Planned Parenthood symbol on his mitre.
One of my neighbors is an Episcopal priest”ess”. She can occasionally be seen siting in a flamingo pink chair on the front lawn, tapping out sermon notes for Sunday, while her husband mows the grass. She’s a tad older than the gal in that advertisement.
You are right, unfortunately in Africa, female clergy may well be even more common. An African Christian friend of mine explained it to me like this:
When the missionaries came, the only people with the time and inclination to listen to them were the women....men were too busy doing their work and other things.... Therefore, the most knowledgeable, committed, and capable 1st generation Christians in his country (Kenya) are almost always women. Missionaries are inevitably very practical...worried about souls, not tradition or polity. Therefore many women become pastors and leaders in the newly planted churches.
Not the way it should be, but how it is happening.