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Author Topic: The priest's collar ('Roman' collar)  (Read 790 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 11, 2011, 07:25:08 PM »

I notice that the collar with a white band in it (generally worn with a black shirt) is often called a 'Roman collar.' Also, the appearance of the collar is slightly different as used by different denominations. If the band is a little wider from side to side, the minister is usually Episcopalian. The smaller square design seems to be associated with Orthodox Christians and the Roman Catholics. 

I was wondering why this is? How old is the use of the collar, who gave it the name and why did the different churches choose the different appearances?

Thanks in advance for any help.   Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 08:55:07 PM »

I believe in comes from nineteenth century Britain, at least its use by clergy.
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 09:17:28 PM »

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerical_collar

Quote
According to the Church of England's Enquiry Centre (citing the Glasgow Herald of December 6, 1894),[1] the detachable clerical collar was invented by the Rev Dr Donald Mcleod, a Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) minister in Glasgow.[2][3]

By 1840, the Anglican clergyman developed a sense of separation between himself and the secular world.[4] One outward symbol of this was the adoption of distinctive clerical dress.[4] This had started with the black coat and white necktie which had been worn for some decades.[4] By the 1880s it had been transmuted into the clerical collar, which was worn almost constantly by the majority of clergy for the rest of the period.[4]

Of course there is more to the article...
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 09:26:20 PM »

Various forms of clerical collars go back to the sixteenth century. In almost every case (French, Dutch, British, etc.), clergy simply wore plain versions of the collars popular at the time, but, as black became the preferred color of attire, the white collar naturally stood out as a distinctive sign of the clergy. In most countries, the collar would be worn over a cassock or even robe until the the nineteenth century or even later.

The history is quite analogous to other forms of clergy attire, e.g. the cassock, which at one point was a normal, every-day piece of clothing.
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 09:42:58 PM »

Yep to everything said here!

The "clerical collar" is a Protestant invention co-opted by the Roman Catholics, and later dropped by the Protestants. As the Orthodox have moved more westard, we've picked up the small square Roman type. The larger version is typical to Protestant use.

Another version exists as well, in which the entire collar is a solid ring of white, attached to a black shirt. This is worn distinctly by Anglicans (and occasionally Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese!).
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