Polish clergy 1588-1632

Red Shirt

Black Shirt

White Shirt

Clergy Shirt Distinction

Archbishop Eric teaches the understanding the colour of a clergy shirt becomes a marker for identifying a specific rank among clergy

Clergy Shirt Colors

Clergy shirts come in a variety of colours depending on the denomination or religious organization requirements. Most Catholic clergy or priests wear black shirts with white collars. There are two types of clergy shirts: the tab-collar shirt and the neckband shirt. The tab-collar shirt has a fold-down collar with an opening at the throat where a cloth or plastic neckpiece can be placed. The neckband shirt has no collar, but rather a thin band of white cloth around the neck similar to a mock-turtleneck shirt.


The black clergy shirt is the most recognizable colour of clerical attire. EMMI clergy wear the black colour as their primary attire. The black colour comes in both types of clergy shirts and is worn for everyday attire, as well as public attire. Deciding on the proper clergy shirt colour protocol can be found by inquiring with the local religious organization and its requirements, as well as colour designations, but black is the primary clergy shirt colour.


A red or maroon clergy shirt is generally assigned to members of the clergy who hold the position of archBishop positions, generally wear a red clergy shirt with a white collar, because they hold a higher position in the church than a Bishop.

Purple or Mauve

A purple clergy shirt also designates a specific position in the church, such as Bishop. The purple clergy shirt can also imply that the clergy holds a specific ecclesiastic position in the church. At times, one Bishop will wear a purple clergy shirt in the presence of a superior or senior Bishop so there is a distinction between the two.


Clergy wear white shirts during chaplaincy work to match with lay's uniform.

  • An archbishop can wear white, purple, black or red

  • A bishop can wear white, black or purple

  • A clergy minister can wear white or black

  1. Archbishop – Red

  2. Bishops – Purple or mauve

  3. Elders – Gray

  4. Ministers – Black

  5. Chaplains –White

  6. Teachers- Green

  7. Student - Marine

Nota Bene: The colour of the shirts is to indicate rank or function and has nothing to do with the liturgical colours in worship

Roman Catholic clergy at Church of All Nations, Jerusalem, Israel

The liturgical colour in this picture is red

Generic exterior habit of the Byzantine and Melkite professed priest-monks

Former habit of the Carmelite priest-friars of the congregations of stricter observance

Habit of the Dominican priest-friars

Habit of the discalced Carmelite priest-friars

Nerses Bedros 19 Tarmouni

Franciscan Habit

Eastern Orthodox Bishop

Syriac Patriarch


(from the Latin albus, meaning white), one of the liturgical vestments of the Roman Catholic is an ample white garment coming down to the ankles and is usually girdled with a cincture.


is a liturgical vestment of various Christian denominations. It consists of a band of coloured cloth, formerly usually of silk, about seven and a half to nine feet long and three to four inches wide, whose ends may be straight or may broaden out.


is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist in Western-tradition Christian churches that use full vestments, primarily in Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches and in the Eastern Catholic Churches, the equivalent vestment is the phelonion


Alb & Stole (Red)

Eric Michel's Alb and Stoles

Rev. Eric's Red Stole & Rev. Marie with a Blue Stole

Eric Michel's Reversible Stoles

Eastern Rite Catholic bishop

wearing Eastern-styled vestments,

including a mitre.

Roman Catholic Bishop

with a crosier & the mitre

is a type of headgear, ceremonial headdress of bishops and certain abbots.

Anglican bishop

with a crosier, wearing a rochet under a red chimere and cuffs, a black tippet, and a pectoral cross.