Fr. Moses Samaan" />
14 Responses to "The Power of the Priestly Cassock"
  1. I genuinely agree with every statement in this article. It’s wonderful and is precisely what I’ve told my Sunday school kids over the years.

    One question, the story of the magazine author is of him wearing a Catholic priest outfit (I’m assuming black pants, black shirt, white neck collar). Would we stand with the same opposition to that type of uniform as well? I’m only curious because while I agree that black tunic is unique to orthodoxy and is good for a particular purpose of ministry, wouldn’t the black shirt/pants/white collar combo serve a similar purpose of ministry as well?

  2. Thank you, Kirollos. I mentioned in a footnote that he was wearing the traditional Catholic cassock, which is like ours, not the pants, white shirt, collar.

  3. Oh, thank you Abouna, I didn’t notice the footnote. Wonderful article. God bless!

  4. Wonderful read, Abouna- Thank you!

  5. Thanks Abouna. I have also had a tremendous number of uplifting encounters in public. I have had people at gas stations ask to pray together or to give them a blessing. I once had a Costco worker ask to sit with me while I was getting my tires changed and after asking for prayers started weeping. Once at a CVS checkout counter, the lady next to me asked if I was a priest, and when I affirmed, she lept and gave me a big hug. I remember a Starbucks employee saying that she felt a blessing was brought to the store everytime I walked in… Of course these are people who didn’t know me or my church but they recognized the cassock and what it symbolized… Or more important, Who it pointed to.

  6. Karo Babaian says:

    I wish it was in Armenian!

    • Fr. Moses Samaan says:

      Dear Karo, may God help you and all of our brethren in the Armenian Orthodox Church who are dealing with this issue. In this age in which the world is going mad, we need the visible presence of Christ more than ever.

  7. Fr. Pimen Shenoda says:

    “How important clothes are. A whole complex of feelings, ideas, movements of the soul, is linked to clothes, to uniform. In particular, I feel that the priest must not wear civilian clothes. When he removes his priestly garb, he inevitably acquires an ‘unpriestly’ feeling, and in some measure betrays his priesthood.”
    — Alexander Elchaninov (The Diary of a Russian Priest)

  8. Sherry says:

    Hi Abouna, this is an awesome post! What’s your opinion on clergy not in uniform when they go on family holidays so they can do things like water skiing etc – Do you think this is an exception to be out of uniform?

    • Fr. Moses Samaan says:

      Good question, Sherry. I think there are some instances where the priest obviously cannot wear his cassock (jet skiing on vacation), but if we remember the important role the cassock has in ministering to the world, perhaps priests will want to make sure they wear it in society as much as possible. One of the most fruitful times for me is while traveling. There is something about travel that makes people want to connect with God, it seems. If I chose to travel without my cassock in order to avoid the invasive security procedures (as some do), I would miss all the opportunities to connect with people who might welcome a conversation with a priest while waiting for a connecting flight. Because of the possibility of those conversations, I very much like wearing the cassock while traveling.

  9. ES says:

    An excellent article, Father, thank you for sharing it.

    I wrote a related article earlier in the year — nowhere as good as yours, thoug:

    I hope many clergymen read your article and, more importantly, act upon it.

    Your blessings.

    • Fr. Moses Samaan says:

      Thank you, Evagelos, for your kind words. I very much enjoyed your article and highly recommend it to our readers here. May Christ help us to be good and edifying icons of Him in this world.

  10. Salaam says:

    Thank you, Father. I just wanted to add that, as far as I know, the Orthodox way is not to change unless absolutely certain and necessary, as our ancestors have put in place practices for a good and non-temporal reason. This is especially true, I would say, in such times of change in the World. Wait a few generations and revisit the issue. The Church cannot be harmed by that!! I wish some of our Eastern Orthodox brothers had not been so hasty on the calendar and divorce issues.

  11. Ramesh says:

    Cassock, A long piece of clothing worn by Roman Catholic and other church both as a common dress and under ritualistic articles of clothing. The cassock, with catch conclusion, has long sleeves and fits the body nearly. – See more at:

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