Sorry just could NOT resist that title!!!
Well today is the Chrism Mass for the Diocese of Oxford. This is the service where the holy oils are consecrated by the bishops and then given out to representatives of all the churches in the diocese for use during the year at baptisms, in visiting the sick and in confirmations and ordinations. Most dioceses do this on Maunday Thursday but for reasons beyond remembering and comprehension Oxford has "always" doen it on what has been nicknamed "Maundy Tuesday!"
I will be representing all the Licensed Youth Ministers of the diocese and reading the Old Testament (Samuel in the temple when he hears God's call) and administring the chalice at the Eucharist. I will most likely be the only person in procession who is not robed in some manner and this has prompted some comment from a few people I've spoken to. Some, from my rather traditional church, have questioned the "not robing" thing and others have not even thought it an issue and so asked me why I would! For me, the decision involved two factors one from principle, ne practical. Firstly I don't think any of the other LYMs in the diocese would robe if they were there and so in NOT robing I represent them. On the more practical level, I don't yet have my own cassock and have to borrow one when I need one.
However, I am quite catholic in my spirituality, theology and worship so WILL be getting a cassock made to measure, though not until later this year. In a way it's quite a good thing that I don't have a cassock as if I HAD already got mine, my decision about robing or not might have been mor complicated.
The whole idea about the wearing of cassocks is so that we do not present ourselves in worship as ourselves with our own individuality but as servants of God in leading God's people. So, ironically, if the LYMs HAD a particular style of robe (as Licensed Lay Ministers do), by WEARING it I would be representing all of them whereas by going without a robe, I will be more myself and less one representing others.