Church robes are “sacred” garments worn basically by the clergy and choir. The church robe symbolizes order, office, and role or function.
In Africa, this is true of any uniform used in the society for religious purposes. They are typically not supposed to be used for personal expression (personalized messages, political messages/symbols, sports or patriotic related colors/symbols, or iron-on pictures of my children, etc), but to be a uniform within certain sacred design patterns.
There is also a place of stoles for these church robes. Stoles are regarded as signs of order and office hanged vertically on clergy’s shoulder, while it is hanged diagonally from the left shoulder by deacons and then secured at the right side.
In Africa, there are wide range of choir uniforms for youth and older people, but stage costume is very important for any special event. This stage costume by choir is mostly the church robe, which characterizes the motive of performance and expresses the nature of event. That’s why, the selection and tailoring of such costume should be responsible and well-thought-out. Stage outfits must meet certain requirements. Choir robe is the traditional outfit worn by church choir and is highly popular and cherished in Africa. This is because when seen, it is representative of being into Christianity religion as a choir.
Traditionally, this clothing have classical colors. They are at least restrained and calm. However, in the case with Africa, the choice is very large. Colors of bright patterns are always chosen (pink, purple, red, green, and yellow) with some touch of African print fabrics, like Ankara or Kente.
African Clergy Robes
There are some clergy robes that always have the touch of African fabric, either on the garment or the stole. But, the most common is having the stoles made of Kente or Ankara fabrics. It is indicative and representative of African heritage. Their colorful appearance make executing service a delight. Often trimmed with original Kente fabric from Ghana, the appearance of the clergy robe is always strikingly appealing, just as collar, cuffs, and center front are outlined in this beautiful multi-color Kente cloth.
Also, the flared design of the garment is very flattering to the figure, and makes for a very masculine and feminine appearance, as the case may be.