How To Vest, Dress, Or Dress Up For Church In San Francisco!
Saint Gregory of Nyssa Church is a hotbed of creative arts. Our congregation of about 200 includes many musicians, composers, visual artists, makers of clothing and jewelry, writers, poets, theater people, and do-it-yourselfers. These talents benefit all of us. Many of the hymns we sing were written by members of the congregation. Our most beautiful vestments were designed and crafted by church members.
The congregation is a strong and generous community, full of friendships, full of stories. We serve one another in prayer, compassion, and practical help; and we serve the larger community with a weekly food pantry and numerous charitable activities.
But we love to celebrate! Our Rotunda hosts parties, concerts, drama, and dancing as well as worship; and these activities become integrated into our praise of God.
Part of the aesthetic pleasure of attending Saint Gregory’s comes from seeing others in their “Sunday Best.” Although most of us dress casually, those who enjoy dressing up do so, sometimes quite inventively and even spectacularly - another way to use our imaginations in praise. After much discussion on one of our list serves, the time has come to document our fashion triumphs and extravaganzas!
Saint Gregory’s is full of beautiful textiles collected from all over the world. Some serve as furniture covering; others are to wear. For services, not only clergy but also our music director and lay deacons wear vestments.
Most of our many vestments are cotton (former restaurant tablecloths), exquisitely tie dyed in West Africa, where they serve as everyday clothing. But our very best have been designed and crafted of silk, mostly by Mary Grove.
Many people, both vested and un-vested, wear neck crosses strung with
THE JEREMY FASHION BLOG
The particular inspiration for this page, and our unquestioned style star, is Jeremy Carroll, an intellectual Brit who calls himself a “queer heterosexual” – unusual even in this city of myriad gender identities. Every week, he outdoes himself with ever more astonishing outfits, mostly pink. Although thrift-shop women’s clothing is required for his favored fashion effects, they greatly transcend mere cross-dressing. He does not try to look like a woman or dress in a feminine manner, he just wears the clothes he likes. His clever and inventive fashion statements are the envy of us women, who wish we had his self-confidence.
Every now and then he even wears some men's clothes, just so as not to feel overly dependent on a single image.
Even in this famously liberal city, Jeremy pays a harsh price for his imaginative and unique style. At times he is subjected to rude remarks, catcalls, and worse.
Jeremy Carroll writes:
Further reflections on “Sunday best”
I got home after church, and changed into something more appropriate for a hike up around St Bruno, which emphasized that I had dressed for church.
On my walk I reflected a bit on Sunday Best - for St Gregory's I usually just throw on some clothes from my wardrobe, without much care or attention - this morning was much more reminiscent of my time in London (2004 - 2006) when I would dress for church, religiously. About a third of the congregation would also wear Sunday Best (although with a more traditional interpretation); there was a particularly Afro-Caribbean lady who brooked no competition.
Prior to that period, I really hadn't understood Sunday Best at all. It had seemed to me to be disingenuous, deceitful even. “Just as I am, Sweet Jesus.” But then clothes became more important to me, and when practical constraints meant that during the rest of the week, I couldn't be at my best - then when would be a better time to dress for Heaven than on a Sunday morning. (Heaven is a famous nightclub in London). And it just started seeming to be commonsense, of course you should look your best for church.
MORE OUTFITS - PLUS HEADGEAR, FOOTWEAR, AND JEWELRY
There are lots of other stylish men at Saint Gregory's; like Fred Merritt and Elliott. Right; Brendan Curran