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What Are Deacon Stoles?

While several of the symbols of clerical office are well known, many people don’t know what deacon stoles are or what they are designed to mean. These uncommon clerical garments have a long history in various parts of the church. And even though there is very little information on their origin, what historians have put together is actually quite important.

Origin of Deacon Stoles

There are a number of theories about where these particular garments, which date back to almost the founding of Christianity itself, come from. A common assumption among lay people is that it is an adaptation of the tallit, the Jewish prayer mantle worn by men in the synagogue. While modern stoles serve a similar purpose, there isn’t much credible historical evidence for this.

Another suggestion has been that these garments were derived from a liturgical napkin that is still used in some Christian denominations called the orarium. In many places the stole is called “orarium,” in fact, and it is said to symbolize the napkin that Christ used to wash the feet of the disciples, indicating the deacon’s dedication to service.

Much more likely is that the church adapted the use of the sashes that signified various offices in the Roman Empire. These garments would be worn by Roman officials in certain colors and configurations to show off not only what type of service they do, but also their rank within that organization.

This fits with how deacon stoles are used today, with a number of different ways of wearing them and a highly limited type of person who is allowed to wear one at all. In this case: deacons.

Colors and Symbols

There are a number of ways that these garments can be employed based on the denomination, where a deacon stands in their particular hierarchy, and the style of wear that is expected of them.

Colors can be highly varied and are generally matched to a particular liturgical season. That being said, many churches allow deacons to choose their own colors or use colors related to the church itself. Style can also be highly varied, with some designs meant to symbolize the bonds that held Christ and others just indicating a duty to spread the faith far and wide.

No matter how or why you use a particular stole, Ivy Robes has a wide variety of styles and colors that will meet your needs. You also can be sure that you’re getting the shortest processing time and won’t have to pay fees for expedited processing of in stock items.

Whatever you need in terms of deacon stoles, you can be sure that Ivy Robes will be there for you.