Liturgical Vestments for an Ethiopian Priest
DimensionsApproximate : 50 x 40 x 10 in. (1.3 m x 1 m x 25.4 cm)
Credit LineGift of DanielberhaneMeskel '03
LabelWhen performing church services or other religious ceremonies, Ethiopian Orthodox priests and deacons typically wear brightly colored, elaborately decorated robes, hats, capes, stoles and sashes. The splendor of these vestments is intended to honor God and to celebrate God’s presence in the world. As in other Christian denominations, the colors and designs of Ethiopian clerical vestments change according to the different seasons of the church calendar. Religious vestments must be blessed by a bishop or priest before they can be worn in a church ceremony. This robe was acquired for the Kruizenga Art Museum at a religious market that is held in Aksum every year during the Easter season. The garment has not been blessed by a bishop or priest and therefore can be displayed in a museum without violating Ethiopian church law, which otherwise holds that sacred vestments should not be worn or used outside of a religious context.