That priest at the altar’s a nobody.

Priest as deputy . . .

Blithe Spirit

You go high enough on the academic ladder, you are properly “robed” at commencement ceremonies, observes Fr. Hunwicke, explaining:

Doctoral garb distinguishes the achievement of, er, achievers.

He contrasts it with what the priest wears at mass:

‘VESTMENTS’, on the other hand, negate the individuality and achievements of the wearer. He wears them to indicate that he is nothing; that he is acting solely in the name of Another.

He did not walk proudly up to a stage to the tune of pomp and circumstance, Rather:

He is a man who was not honoured but humiliated, when, at his Ordination, he lay prostrate on the ground. He now acts clothed in the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Far from gaining or achieving anything, he has lost individuality. ‘Initiative’ is, quite simply, not his job. Nor is ‘personality’.

He is a man whose hands and voice are not his…

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