Cassock and surplice
Today was a milestone, today I ordered my first cassock and surplus. It feels like this ministry thing is becoming mighty serious.
Don't get me wrong, I know anyone can wear a cassock and surplus, it's the reader scarf that will signify my ministry upon licensing; but this my Sunday ministry uniform and it signifies a lot to my church congregation. I was hoping not to get it until closer to licensing, but I am presiding a lot in coming months and it had been decided that toning would be a good thing. I guess if I'm honest, the uniform nerves are covering the presiding nerves!
My first shock in the process of ordering robes was the cost; some places are talking £500! Luckily I got a recommendation to a fantastic place who make to measure (from your own measurements) for half that price.
My second surprise was the fact that there are numerous choices for cassocks - single or double breasted; 3, 4 or 5 pleats; round or square neck; cuffs; pockets; pen holders and more. I am no seamstress but I muddled through going for whatever was recommended for women (not that most women are quite as cuddly as me). And then there's the surplus choices, shorter ones (cotter I think) or longer (old English) and then sleeve options. For this I went for the longer one, mainly because Gok Wan has taught me not to cut myself at my widest. I'm not sure whether it's right to take fashion advice on surplus selection but what's a girl to do when offered choice.
Of course this whole order could be an unmitigated disaster if my third shock goes wrong. I had to provide measurements. The easy ones were fine, but then weird mid back breadth, shoulder to cuff, back length and more got very confusing and did I mention I'm no seamstress. I pray that it will at least fit me even if it's a little oddly shaped for me.
And so the order has gone off. I've paid for it. And now I wait a few weeks for it to be made and sent. And then it will become very real. And then I will be robed to preside, but that's another time.
As an aside, Mike keeps asking if church are paying for this and I still don't know the answer, although I'm hoping they'll at least help out. I hope this doesn't become an extra issue on his view of the church and my role being all giving to them. Lord please bring the parts of my life together.