That priest at the altar’s a nobody.

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 own because his sacramental words and deeds are those of the Redeemer.

When you see him emerging, chasubled, [wearing the chasuble] from the Sacristy, you should say to yourself “Ah … jolly good … another of these Nobodies …” [Emphases added throughout]

Jolly good, eh? I get it, but wouldn’t have said it that way, I’m sure.

via Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment: Pedantries

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