I’ve decided that it has little historical or theological meaning. No. Gazing at my naked reflection in the mirror this morning as I stepped out of the shower, I realized there are much more important reasons for wearing the alb.
It covers a multitude of flubbery sins.
Things like: the extra cannoli I had at the office Christmas party. Or the second slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream that I just had to have at Thanksgiving. It’s there to provide cover for the cookies and cupcakes they sold at the parish Christmas Fair. It’s there because of the slab of chocolate mousse I had for desert Christmas night, after that second helping of mashed potatoes.
The heavy drape of clerical vestments provides camouflage for the meatloaf and gravy I had when my sister took us out to dinner the night after Christmas. Then there’s the cranberry and walnut bread pudding with cinnamon cream sauce that I then HAD to have for desert. Or the three footlong hotdogs (two with cheese) that I had for lunch yesterday with my in-laws. And of course: the tin of Christmas cookies that I grazed on while waiting to go out for another celebratory dinner last night.
Christmas comes but once a year. But a reminder of its aftermath greets me every morning. I may try showering in the dark.
If I could get away with wearing an alb to the office every day for the next month, I would.
Yes. This is why we wear albs.
And this is why God made treadmills.