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An Anglican vicar often wears special robes called “vestments” during services, so we arranged a short fashion show to explain what each one is called!

Holy Cribs – The Vicar’s Vestments

Shanice:  Church of England vicars often wear a white collar to let people know who they are and what they do. This is called a clerical collar or a Roman collar, but most people just call it a dog collar because that's what it looks like. For church services, a vicar often wears special clothes called vestments, which make every service and occasion. Over her everyday clothes, the vicar wears a long black gown or coats called a cassock. This is a sort of uniform that vicars and priests have worn for centuries. Over that, she wears a white gown called a surplice, and that's a symbol of purity. Around her neck, she wears a long scarf called a stole, and that's to show that she is an ordained priest. In other words, she's done all the training, had some experience, and is blessed by God to serve his people. The vicar wears different colour stoles at different times of the year. Most of the time it's green. But she wears a purple one during Lent, which is the time leading up to Easter. And Advent, which is the time leading up to Christmas. On Easter Day and Christmas Day, she wears a white stole and she'll wear that for weddings and funerals as well. There's also a red or brightly coloured one to wear on a festival called Pentecost and at other special occasions. But she's most comfortable like this.


Christianity: The Vicar’s Vestments

Video length - 02.08
Published date - Mar 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Alien Abduction: Christianity – Orbiting Earth at this very moment, the alien survey ship “Pantheon” is abducting people to collect data about their belief systems. Reverend Harry is beamed into the interrogation chamber to answer questions about Christianity.

Alien Abduction: Christianity

Robot      Survey ship Pantheon orbiting planet: Earth. Dominant life form: Human. Belief system: Various. More information required. Scanning for samples. Welcome to survey ship Pantheon. Our mission is to investigate the culture of your planet, and you have been selected to represent your belief system. Please state your name.

Harry       Harry.

Robot      Religion.

Harry       Christian.

Robot      Holy book.

Harry       The Bible.

Robot      Holy building.

Harry       The church.

Robot      Symbol.

Harry       Um, that would be the cross or a crucifix.

Robot      You will now be asked a series of questions from the categories on screen. You have 30 of your Earth seconds to provide a satisfactory answer to each one. Failure to comply will result in matter dispersal. Are you ready?

Harry       Yep.

Robot      Stand by. Choose the first category.

Harry       God.

Robot      What do you believe about God?

Harry       I believe that God created the whole world, the universe and everything in it. That God created humanity for a purpose and a reason, and that God wants to know us and wants us to know him. God revealed himself to us through the Trinity. There is one God, but there are three parts of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and God lives through us through the Holy Spirit, he's with us in the power of the spirit always.

Harry       Life after death.

Robot      What do you believe will happen to humans after death?

Harry       Um, Christians believe that death is really the beginning, not the end, so when we die, we can go to be with God in heaven. The Bible teaches that there's some kind of judgement, God wants to judge sin and remove sin from his ultimate creation, so all of us will stand before God and will be judged. The good news is, is that Jesus takes that judgement for us, so the Bible says that if we turn to Jesus, then he will bear that judgement for us. So that's what I believe.

Harry       Beginnings.

Robot      How did your religion begin?

Harry       The beginnings of Christianity are in Judaism. Jesus, the founder of Christianity, was a Jew, he lived as a Jew, but he developed Judaism and taught his own message. So Jesus lived his life in a in a provocative way, he performed miracles, he taught different teachings. But ultimately the beginnings of Christianity, certainly the beginnings of the church, are in the death and resurrection of Jesus, that's when our religion began and broke away from Judaism, and that's where we are today.

Harry       Everyday life.

Robot      How does your religion affect everyday life?

Harry       Um, as a Christian, I try and read my Bible and pray every day, but also as a Christian we have to try and live the teachings of Jesus. So everything that Jesus taught, we have to put into action. That means we need to love people, we need to show justice, we need to seek to change the wrongs that are in the world and really demonstrate the love of God to everyone we meet. That's not always easy, but every day we need to be trying to do that, to demonstrate the love of God for his creation. Festivals.

Robot      What is the most important festival in your religion?

Harry       The biggest festival in our religion is probably Christmas, that's the one that most people know, but I don't think it's the most important. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and Jesus had to be born, but the central message of what Christians believe is that Jesus died and rose again, and we celebrate that at Easter. At Easter we remember that Jesus died, he was crucified, nailed to a cross, but he rose again three days later. The festival of Easter celebrates that, his death, his coming back to life, his rising again.

Harry       Rites of passage.

Robot      What is a baptism?

Harry       Oh, good question, baptism. There's two kinds of baptism. Sometimes we baptise babies, and often that's with a sprinkling of water, sometimes when we baptise adults, it's by a full immersion, fully underwater. Baptism marks a new life, so the sprinkling of water is washing away our old life and our old sins, or even in a full immersion, we're kind of buried under the water, and then we come back out into new life. It's a symbol of new life, new beginnings and starting again.

Harry       Random.

Robot      Why are there so many different types of Christian?

Harry       Oh gosh, good question. There are different kinds of Christians, like, there are Roman Catholics, Church of England, Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists. Not because they believe different things, largely we believe the same thing, but because people express themselves in different ways. So we all like different types of music or different food or things like that, and so the different types of Christians emerged, because we want to talk to God in different ways, and we hear from God in different ways, and that's why different types of Christians emerged today.

Robot      Thank you. Your answers are satisfactory. Matter dispersal beams powering down. You will now be returned to Earth, human. Goodbye.

Alien Abduction: Christianity

Video length - 6.05
Published date - Jun 2013
Keystage(s) - 3