“And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water. And he put upon him the coat and girded him with the girdle and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.” -Leviticus 8:6-7 KJV

When performing ordinances that require the use of the priesthood, the Lord has asked that ordained men and women of the Fellowship wear the robes of the priesthood. This is not mandatory at this time as the revelation asking us to do so has not yet been sustained by the body of the Fellowship. In the revelations, the Lord has explained that the Robes of the Priesthood signify the authority held by those using their priesthood keys; that they have been endowed. Those that have been through a Latter Day Saint/Mormon temple’s endowment session, regardless of denomination, will likely recognize the attire.

It should be noted that one need not be endowed to worship at home. This commandment is merely an instruction for those that have been ordained, initiated, and received their endowment(s).

Garments of the Priesthood

Latter Day Saint tabard style Garments

The Garments of the Priesthood, or more simply “garments,” are clothing with the four symbols of the priesthood upon them. These are the Square, the Compass, the Horizontal Line on the Navel, and the Horizontal Line on or about the Knee. If these are sewn onto one’s underwear they become Garments of the Priesthood.

One may also sew the symbols onto an ephod, vest, or tabard, provided they are or are close to knee length. Garments in the form of underwear should be worn under one’s clothing, where as garments in the form of an ephod, long vest, or tabard should be warm above the clothing.

Robes of the Lower Priesthood

The Robes of the Lower Priesthood are as follows:

  • A robe that covers one shoulder, leaving the other bare, tying at the waste. This should be made of white material
  • A green or white apron
  • a white sash to one’s measure (as long as the wearer is tall)
  • A cap (men) or veil (women); preferably white

For the Aaronic/Levitical Office of the Priesthood and the Sisterhood of Miriam, Robes of the Lower Priesthood are worn. This would be to bless or pass the Sacrament, for Baptisms, and for the ordaining of others to these offices of the priesthood.

For the first year after receiving an endowment, a green apron should be worn to signify they are new; fresh from the Garden, as Adam and Eve were when wearing their leaves. This is to help guide those new in their respective units. After the first year, they may continue to wear green, or switch to white to signify Christ’s cleansing of sin (see color meanings below).

Deacons and Teachers

Latter Day Saint Robes of the Priesthood/Sisterhood First Endowment

Deacons and teachers wear the garments, sash, and the apron. If wearing outer garments (symbols on their ephod, long vest, or tabard rather than their underwear), the apron should go over them. The sash is then placed around the waist over both, tied to the right side. If the wearer is in a leadership position they should tie the sash in the middle. Shoes should be removed before putting on the apron and sash, and removed again before removing them.

Priests and Priestesses

Latter Day Saint Robes of the Priesthood/Sisterhood Second Endowment

To wear the robes of the Lower Priesthood as a Priest or Priestess, first remove shoes from the feet. Place the robe on the left shoulder with the cap or veil placed on the head. If one is wearing a Latter-day Saint created cap, the bow should be worn over the right ear. Put on the apron, then tie the girdle with the bow on the right side. Finally, replace the shoes as part of the temple clothing. With the robe on the left shoulder, one is prepared to officiate in the ordinances of the Lower priesthood.

Shoes should be removed before removing the Robes of the Lower Priesthood.

Robes of the High Priesthood

An illustration of clothing reported to have been worn by female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of an Endowment ceremony, circa 1870s. The dagger in her hand is not a part of her clothing. Public Domain

The Robes of the High Priesthood are as follows:

  • A robe that covers one shoulder, leaving the other bare, tying at the waste. This should be made of white material
  • An apron (see color list below)
  • a white sash to one’s measure (as long as the wearer is tall)
  • A cap (men) or veil (women); it is preferred that these be white

For the Melchizedek Office of the Priesthood and the Sisterhood of Magdalene of the Relief Society, Robes of the High Priesthood are worn. This would be to preside over meetings, give the gift of the Holy Ghost, preform the True Order of Prayer, or for the ordaining of others to this priesthood.

Colors of the Aprons

While any color may be worn as an apron, green is recommended for the first year when becoming and Elder or High Priest/Priestess. Colors signify the following:

Green: New to the office, represents the leaves Adam and Eve used to hide their sins and the desire to retain innocence in the site of God; green represents balance, nature, and rest.

Purple/violet: Signifies the Royal divinity of Jesus Christ, that He is our God and our King; purple or violet represents spirituality, mystery, and creation.

Orange: Represents need to become like a child and that we are all children of God; orange signifies optimism, cheerfulness, and happiness.

Red: Reminds us of the atoning Blood of Jesus Christ, shed for our sins and worn in remembrance of His sacrifice for us; red represents love, passion, and strength.

Blue: Represents the peace of eternity; just as the sky and the sea go on forever, so will our souls forever belong to the Lord; blue represents trust, faith, and stability.

Yellow: Signifies the sun, or the Celestial Kingdom; the sun rises over all of God’s creation, bringing warmth and light, chasing away the darkness; yellow represents youth, energy, and warmth.

White: Represents the innocents of man after being washed clean by the Blood of Christ; white represents purity, truth, and faith.

Wearing the Robes of the High Priesthood

Latter Day Saint Robes of the Priesthood/Sisterhood Third & Fourth Endowment

For the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Sisterhood of Magdalene, Robes of the High Priesthood are worn, unless fulfilling duties of the Lower Priesthood. This would be to lead the congregation during services, giving the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the ordaining of others to this office of the priesthood, among other.

To wear the robes of the High Priesthood, first remove shoes from the feet. Place the robe on the right shoulder with the cap placed on the head with the bow over the right ear. Put on the apron, then tie the girdle with the bow on the left side. If one is leading any form of service, the bow should be tied in front to make clear their authority. Finally, replace the shoes as part of the temple clothing. With the robe on the right shoulder, one is prepared to officiate in the ordinances of the High priesthood.

Shoes should be removed before removing the Robes of the High Priesthood.

“Let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands; and let all things be done in cleanliness before me.” -Community of Christ DaC 42:12a, Latter-day Saints DaC 42:40-41

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