An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Clothing Day

” Christians who feel called to the religious life under vows normally pass through a period of testing known as the novitiate. In traditional orders where habits are worn by the members, the novice receives the habit as part of the ceremony. The new novice is said to be “clothed” on this day. In many traditional religious orders, “clothing day” refers to this day of commitment and clothing in the habit. After the novitiate, there is typically a period in which the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience are taken on a temporary or annual basis, followed by a time when final or life vows may be made. Depending on the rules and customs of the community, distinctive clothing may be given to one who enters the novitiate or to one making temporary or final vows. Any of these days of commitment, accompanied by the presentation of distinctive clothing and other symbols of special vocation, could be referred to as one's “clothing day.” The BOS includes a form for Setting Apart for a Special Vocation. Many religious communities have their own forms for admitting members.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.