A long, narrow strip of material worn by ordained and diaconal ministers. Deacons and diaconal ministers by custom wear the stole over the left shoulder only. Ordained elders, including bishops, wear the stole around the neck over both shoulders. The stole worn in a service of worship is usually of the appropriate color for the day or season of the Christian calendar. Often stoles are decorated, especially with Christian symbols appropriate to the Christian day or season.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by Permission.