Southern Episcopalians

Seeing how it’s Sunday, and in case you missed this t-shirt, or if you have no idea what this t-shirt means or why it is funny, you’ve come to the right place. We are traveling, so I missed church this morning. I had a Mexican omelette instead. It was close to a religious experience but not quite the same.

And also with y'all.
And also with y'all.

Anyway as you may know, in our little town of Los Olivos, California, His Grace and I are buds with Preacher and Partner. Preacher being the rector of our beautiful St. Mark’s in the Valley Episcopal Church, and Partner being his partner, which you probably figured out on your own. Partner emailed me this picture a while ago and I’ve been waiting to work it in.

In the Episcopal church–and many others as well–they do this thing called “passing the peace.” The minister says, “The peace of the Lord be always with you.” And the congregation responds, “And also with you.” Not even Southerners say “And also with y’all,” but I ’bout fell out over this t-shirt. You can get one at

If memory serves, about 30-some years ago the practice began to turn to your neighbor(s) and pass the peace to them. For some it was (and is) an affront, all new-agey and touchy-feely and bordering on undignified. But I think it’s nice. I’m for any opportunity to make a pleasant human connection.

Today most people just say “Peace,” to one another and sometimes “good morning” and sometimes “nice hat” and sometimes “Did you hear about Betty Lou’s new boyfriend?” That is another thing about going to church. Along with the Good News, you get the local news, too.


  1. So true! After a weekend hanging with students at SMS and chaperoning the 9th grade sleepover, your blog made me laugh out loud, just what I needed.

  2. Would love to get my hands on one of those shirts! Not only did I grow up in the Episcopal Church, I was a typical preacher’s kid( kind of mischievous in a harmless way). At our church now, we pass the peace until the minister rounds us back up. It may put visitors off, but I think most find it refreshing. You’re right, Frances, it it also a chance to have a mini “catch up” with folks. Either way, I think from now on, I’m gonna try to sneak in an”also with y’all” whenever I can!

  3. Frances, I am sitting here watching it pour (Tropical Storm Isaac is dousing So. Fla. and we are thankful it did not turn into Hurricane Isaac!) and laughing like a loon over this post, it brought back some lovely memories. Years and years ago, I went to Midnight Mass with my best friend’s family. Her dad who is a wonderful, loveable curmudgeon got all huffy about having to shake a stranger’s hand going on about “how do I know he deserves peace? I am NOT shaking anybody’s hand I don’t know!” He did, of course, after getting a sharp elbow in the ribs from his lovely wife. Love, love, love the “and also with y’all” tee. Will definitely use it next time I am in Talley and go to church with my very Southern and lovely Talley peeps. I am very fond of the Episcopalian church. When my parents and I arrived in the ’64, we were sponsored by it. A lovely, lovely lady by the name of Lucille Richards, a very active member of the ECW, took us under her wing. Thanks to her and also some family friends who had already settled in California, we had a roof over our heads, food in the pantry and felt safe, protected and cared about. To this day, whenever I attend services, I think of her and know she has a special place in Heaven.

  4. Dearest Frances,
    I always love your brilliant and witty posts, even if I rarely comment.
    Sharing the peace is my favourite part of church. I love to hug, but I try to read body language. Don’t want folks running away from me at church!
    Much love to you and yours,

  5. Great shirt but my commment is about the response in the new prayer book. I have a friend that says “and also with you” sounds to him like “same to you fella” I smile when he tells me that he will continue to say “and with thy spirit” As you well know most Southern men are stuck in the past. Need I say more?

    1. Yes Harriet and I am related to many! It is hard to believe the “new” prayer book is 30 years old, isn’t it?

  6. I love watching different people’s body language during the peace. You can quickly tell if you need just to say “the peace of the Lord” or if you can get away with a hug!

  7. I had a friend from Pennsyltucky area…who used, “Yuns” I always thought it was because he did not like to use “Y’all” I think it was a southern football team rival thing? Who knows? I just know that I’ll be full of The Peace next Sunday because I did not make it to church either, but was not traveling and did not have a mexican omelette! Thanks for the giggle…PEACE! xo Pete

    1. Well Pete thank you for the explanation! I don’t think YUNS ever made it to eastern North Carolina, and it definitely didn’t make it to New Yawk.

  8. Dearest,
    I love that you remembered that I was raised as a Catholic. Perhaps, you recall my parents thinking that my twenty-minute wedding (I am now divorced,) officiated by a hospital chaplain, was not legitimate, no Mass for me. Or is it because I have six younger brothers and sisters? My late mother was an only child, raised in the Episcopal church, who then bore and raised seven children, bless her soul.
    When my father, a devout Roman Catholic died, and we met with priests to plan his funeral mass, my mother kept saying – This is too elaborate and pretentious, can’t we skip some of this? – We told her that these parts of the Mass were not to be deleted.

  9. Starting as an Anglican i am thrilled with the movement of the Episcopalians. The Peace was passed as a corporate response from where one stood, and without looking at any one in particular. Sort of “Oh dear, here it comes”
    Love the T shirt. It would go over great in
    England . .these days. Thanks Frances.

  10. Y’uns is “you uns,” another version of y’all, but perhaps more rural. Sort of like young’uns, but different. This is the south, after all, where nothing makes sense but everything is understood. (wink).

  11. I try to say it in Spanish when I am with Mexican congregants and like the way it sounds better than English: “La Paz de Christo sea contigo”

    Invite you to look at my blog which is in the same spirit as this wonderful one:

  12. Frances:

    This post really made me chuckle and you have no idea how much I needed a chuckle this morning! Left both kids at Sewanee and flew home to an awfully quiet empty nest yesterday, and the Prince (my pet name for my hubby) woke up with a sore throat. Thanks for brightening my day!

    1. Oh Amie both your babies off at school! Do hope you Prince is feeling better soon. (At least you have one baby left at home 😉 Kidding!)

  13. A lovely tradition! Traci commented above that the Presbyterians have the same tradition. We do not pass the peace at my Presbyterian church but would love to start it. What a lovely way to stay connected in this hustle, bustle world we live in.

  14. Luv it. Find the T-shirt that gives 10 reasons for being an Episcopalian. Starts with, we don’t handle snakes, free wine on Sunday morning, we believe in dinasaurs, etc. Love your blog. Bernice

    1. Oh Bernice HEY, and thank you so much for this. I will look for that t-shirt. It might even convince my cowboy to start going to church. He goes every now and then mainly to catch up on the gossip. Love to you and Joe and all! Frances

  15. Got to tell you that I bought this shirt for myself (and also for a female rector/friend). I recently wore it to our yearly retreat and, of course, all the Episcopalians loved it. But what was funny was going over to the (Episcopal) church next door for their rummage sale and everyone, and I mean that ALMOST literally, wanted to know where I got this and if they could get one, too. 🙂

  16. Just received fabulous TShirt in mail! Quick! Can’t wait to give it to my Yankee Minister (who went to southern seminary} this Sunday after church. God Bless YOU darling friend.

  17. I just came across this article while searching for the t-shirt. At Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, Alabama, where I’ve been attending summer camp for 11 summers we have to move the passing of the peace to the end of Eucharist because everyone hugs EVERYONE, and it’s amazing.

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