'I Know a Man Who Wears a Dress'
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider the signs of being religious.
Preparation and materials
- Gather some images of people in religious dress, such as monks and nuns in their habits and priests in their cassocks, and have the means to display them during the assembly.
- Show the images of people in religious dress.
How relevant is this way of dressing?
Do you know why religious dress is worn, its significance?
Why is it that, for many, a priest dressed in a cassock may seem odd, yet the Pope, who always wear clerical dress, is held in great affection and taken seriously?
- There are many signs of religious commitment that go beyond dress. People wear badges and wristbands, for example.
- Pause briefly for dramatic impact. You might like to take a look around and notice whether or not some people are wearing crucifixes.
Perhaps there can be another reason for wearing a crucifix than for religious ones. Quite a few people wear one simply as a piece of jewellery, not as a sign that they are Christians. How much does this matter?
What message is conveyed if the person wearing a crucifix is the rudest person you know?
What is the message anyway that a crucifix conveys?
What is the message for people for whom a crucifix is a very special symbol?
- What would the impact be if important symbols of other faiths were worn by people who did not share that faith or behaved in a way that was in direct contradiction to that faith.
- For Christians, the teachings of Jesus say that what we do is the most important thing. What we wear – as a sign of faith or as jewellery – is less important than what we do or who we are.
Time for reflection
Helmut Thielicke, a theologian, wrote:
Tell me how much you know of the sufferings of your fellow men and I will tell you how much you have loved them.
Michael Taylor, sometime Director of Christian Aid, said:
Christianity is about the Kingdom, not about the Church; it has to do with human growth and development, not church growth and development.