I opened the most recent Anglican Taonga, the official magazine of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The first article was dominated by a photo of what looked to me to be a priest with the stole crooked. The photo was large and clear (13x18cm; 5x7inch). My first thought was, couldn’t someone have straightened the stole for such a significant photo? But as I read the article I discovered this wasn’t a priest in a chasuble, this was a newly-ordained deacon, with the deacon’s stole as normal (diagonally across the left shoulder) … wearing a chasuble. This is completely new to me personally. I have previously written about priests dressing as deacons, I guess there may be an argument, if one regards the orders as different and equal, and accepts priests dressing as deacons, then one should accept deacons dressing as priests?

I wonder if anyone else outside of NZ has seen this practice of vesting deacons in a chasuble?

Or is this another occasion of NZ leading the world: we were the first to call God “you” in the Eucharist, the first to have a woman diocesan bishop, the first to allow blessing of gay couples, the first to have a Tikanga structure of several bishops from different culutures overseeing the same geographic area, the first to have two equal diocesan bishops, the first to allow Eucharists just as long as (only) the Eucharistic Prayer was authorised somewhere in the Anglican Communion… Are we the first to have deacons dressed as priests?

And… If priests can vest as deacons, and deacons can vest as priests, is there anything wrong with priests, deacons, or lay people vesting in chimere and rochet, or wearing a mitre?

source: photo 1; photo 2

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