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The pastor wears a white robe called an Alb (from the Latin word albis meaning “white”).

It is the color white to represent the “robes of righteousness” that all Christians receive through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The pastor’s job is to preach God’s Word and administer the sacraments. Therefore the alb also aids in lessening distractions to focus instead on what is being proclaimed.

Around the pastor’s shoulders, he wears what is called a stole. The color of the stole changes to match the color of the church season. The stole is representative of how a shepherd would carry a wounded sheep around his shoulders.

The word pastor means “shepherd” so the stole is an image of how a pastor carries the burdens of his congregation.