• April 29, 2024
  • Pcea media
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PCEA Moderator’s Attire Explained- By Eld. Henry Kianduma

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, is the ‘primus inter pares’ and the official representative of the Kirk in East Africa. He is nominated, elected, and installed for a term of 3 years, which is renewable once, normally at the Parish Church of St. Andrews Nairobi.

Upon installation, he assumes a new title, the Right Reverend, and he is given new robes. These include a purple cassock only reserved for the Moderator General and Past Moderators. He is also presented with a BLACK FROGGED GOWN with slit arms and knots equal with the number of the presbyteries his office is shepherding; meaning the current gown should be having 61. He is also given a Moderators Pectol Cross, which is the symbol of the office he is occupying. Traditionally, the cross was a simple plain Celtic cross, which would be handed down to the incoming Moderators.

The Traditional Cross was changed between 11th-12th GA and a new cross with the seal of the General Assembly on one side, and the Jitegemea Logo on the opposite was introduced. The last cross of that kind is with the past moderator, the Very Rev., Dr Jesee Kamau. The current Moderator’s cross is Celtic with the church logo (of 2006) on both sides but lacks the official seal of the General Assembly. The frogged gown and the cross are surrendered back publicly upon the end of the term of the moderator and taken by the incoming moderator.

The current stole has the symbols of ALPHA and OMEGA on one side and a Burning Bush on the other. These symbols were first used by the Moderator of 12th GA. Previously, they used a different kind of a stole. The Moderator and his predecessors wear blue shirts – the color of East Africa’s sky as suggested by the Very Rev. Dr. John Gatu. Previously they wore black shirts like everyone else.

These traditions have their roots in Church of Scotland, which founded PCEA in 1891. It was in 1773 that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland passed that the Moderator shall robe as such when he or she is in the chair, a tradition and heritage that PCEA has kept.

Picture by Eugene Joshua at PCEA Kiu Kenda Church.