You may not think too often of the significance or meaning behind the robes used by any church choir during a heart mass. Worldwide, many churchgoers attend and hear the melodies sung by heterogeneous groups of men and women united by their faith in the Lord. Have you ever wondered why they’re using a distinctive uniform whenever the choir members step in front of their church members?
In our following guide, we share 6 interesting facts about church choir robes that you should know if you’re intrigued about their origin and role.
Using choir robes is a historical tradition
Today a church choir with matching robes seems like a given in any Christian ceremony. However, using some sort of uniform in a religious setting has been traced back to Ancient Egypt. The idea behind wearing specific clothing to mark a difference from the crowd due to a profession or craft has been a constant practice throughout humanity, and choirs were no exception to this trend. In this case, the choir robe represents an individual voice joining the crowd of voices worshiping the Lord in his home.
Colors have symbolic meanings
For Western culture, black is often reserved for mourning due to how we relate the black hue with death. However, for church choir robes, it’s a deep color that represents humility, simplicity, and sobriety while serving at the house of God. On the opposite side of the spectrum, white represents purity and innocence, being perceived as a symbol of hope and the purity of divine love. The folks from some choirs mentioned that originally, church choir robes were mostly manufactured in black, white, and blue. Still, adapting to new circumstances, congregations worldwide have embraced all the colors available for their choirs.
Robes give identity to the group
Most of the time, the choir is the most visible element of any church service, and any believer, if they truly wish to do so, can be part of this group to serve God. The robe allows any member to strip away from their differences and achieve full synchronization with one another. Another aspect to consider about the choir is that singing brings generations together. Using the robes eliminates any differences among people of all ages to worship God through singing. When you have a choir group wearing robes, you place the focus on them as a group rather than single out an individual.
Choir robes can be comfortable
Nowadays, robes are manufactured with polyester fabric due to how functional and hard it is to wrinkle. Some manufacturers choose a combination of wool and polyester, which allows the robe to be machine washed and drip-dry without needing to press the fabric. Contrary to popular belief, singers get accustomed to performing and singing with their garments, especially since most robes are easy to wear and take off after a performance. Buttons and Velcro are the most common solutions used to give the choir robe its distinctive look.
They can be affordable
Some people can feel curious about joining a church choir and wonder about who’s in charge of paying and taking care of these garments. Congregations can either leave the cost of the choir robes to the singers themselves to make sure they’ll respect the garment to keep it in good condition for practices and ceremonies. The color and robe style choice is usually left to the choir management since they need to ensure a professional appearance of the group.
Church choir robes should be cleaned with care
Due to the nature of the fabric, the singer must take proper care of their garment to look presentable and professional when stepping in front of the church mass. One of the most common stains the choir members need to worry about is wax spills from candles, which most of the time can come off with the use of warm iron and absorbent paper. However, in more persistent stains, it’s highly advised to leave the garment to a cleaning service to ensure the fabric’s integrity remains intact.
The church choir robe can appear in many shapes, sizes, and colors in different congregations. It represents the unity and humility of the singers who worship God with their singing and present themselves as a crucial piece of the church mass alongside the priest. The choir robe has a long history among the Catholic Church almost from its beginnings, which has evolved alongside the religion to adapt to the social context and followers’ needs. Today, the church choir robe is a powerful sign of professionalism and solemnity for the believer who wears it.