Blue Vestments

Hi. I was wondering where the blue colored priestly vestments came from. I've only seen Gold or white on the vestments (boros, talasan, sidraya). At HHPT's ordination, HG Bishop Andrawis was wearing blue vestments. The priests in St Mark's church in Cleveland also have blue vestments.


  • Can you share a picture of what you have in mind?
  • Just scroll down the page and you see both priests wearing them.
  • Very are my thoughts:

    1- It is clear that the church in Cleveland is unique, not just in terms of vestments, but also the architecture seems quite Byzantine (though admittedly with Coptic icons). I wonder if they built the church like this on purpose, or if they acquired an old Greek church and converted it.

    2- Aside from the blue vestments, the thing that caught my eye more is the older priest's bournos (or phelonion in Greek). The extra fabric around the shoulders whose name escapes me at the moment is appropriate only for bishops, at least according to Abul-Barakat ibn Kabar (14th cent).

    3- Regarding blue or any other color, I actually found no explicit color rules for these vestments in my somewhat brief research of Coptic liturgical vestments. The only rule regarding color is that the tunic (tonia or sticharion) must be white, which is governed by a certain canon. Nothing in the canons to my knowledge says even the diaconal stole needs to be red. I am personally not in favor of over-regulating everything, so I personally have no problem with blue or other light colors (since darker colors like black and navy are associated with holy week and funerals). Either way, for those that look for a canon to regulate everything, I am not aware of one.

    4- Now clearly based on the fabric and quality of these vestments, as well as some features, these are not standard vestments bought from Egypt. They were probably custom made in America, perhaps through or some other retailer.

    A book is coming out soon on the history and meaning of liturgical vestments in the Byzantine tradition by Kh. Krista West, a tailor of liturgical vestments:
  • there is nothing wrong with the blue... the blue even in iconography is the color of the heavenly, and the vestment we as deacons or priests wear are a symbol of participation in something that is heavenly. gold is a symbol of heaven, hence the background of icons is gold... almost the same as the blue, and the red is the color of honor or leadership.

    the church architecture is in terms with the Coptic rules of iconography, which is the Iconostasis and the icons of the life of the Christ around the church, and the saints. the only thing I noticed that is out of place from the video is having the last supper on the altar doors, usually it is the annunciation, and the angels... the annunciation is because as the angel told Mary about the birth of Christ, we are told about the birth of Christ, and the angels because they are standing guarding the altar.
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