“What, do you think you’re more Orthodox if you wear it? Do you think it’s somehow more holy? Oooo so holy! Wear the collar!”

This is representative of an idea that many recent or current seminarians  have heard when the subject of wearing the anteri versus Roman collar as an Orthodox priest in America*. And it’s a valid concern for us, to worry if we’re screwing something up with our clerical wear. Heck, before I was ordained I was fairly sure I planned to wear a collar, but I ultimately decided to wear an anteri instead. It’s come up in several conversations since I moved down to Charleston that I wear my Anteri (or, fancy black dress as some of the citizens say!) as my daily dress, and not the more ubiquitous clerical shirt. I know this has come up (non-negatively) when talking to some of my parishioners, and the general consensus is that I may be one of the first in the parish’s history to wear one. Well, why do I wear it anyway?Continue reading