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Old Aug 2, '10, 7:42 pm
archangel04 archangel04 is offline
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Default Difference between color of cassocks for altar boys

So I always wonder why to some altar boys wear black cassocks and others wear red?
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Old Aug 2, '10, 7:51 pm
Cristiano Cristiano is offline
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Default Re: Difference between color of cassocks for altar boys

Originally Posted by archangel04 View Post
So I always wonder why to some altar boys wear black cassocks and others wear red?
I think that in our parish red is for everything except advent, lent and funerals. Some use black when we have too many servers and the red cassocks are not enough. We have ~200 servers but the most I have seen serving at one time is ~15.
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Old Aug 2, '10, 8:16 pm
zab zab is offline
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Default Re: Difference between color of cassocks for altar boys

Our present pastor ordered red cassocks for the altar servers to wear at the rededication Mass after our church was restored/remodeled the year before last. I have noticed that they wear the red on all major feast days and throughout the seasons of Easter and Christmas. The black is worn in ordinary time and at funerals. Black and red was worn during the Corpus Christi Procession because all of the altar servers participated and so they wore everything that was available. Some had to wear the cassocks without surplices because there were not enough surplices for everyone. I don't know why red is now being used in addition to the black but I have read about parishes other than ours that are now using red.
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Old Aug 2, '10, 9:13 pm
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edward_george edward_george is offline
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Default Re: Difference between color of cassocks for altar boys

The few regulations on altar server garb don't exactly specify color or style or anything like that. What color the cassocks are is mostly governed by local custom--as is the use of gloves, different styles of surplices, etc. Some places still have the boys wearing bow ties with their cassocks.



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Old Aug 2, '10, 9:55 pm
tbtcom1213 tbtcom1213 is offline
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Default Re: Difference between color of cassocks for altar boys

Black is for the regular Masses Sundays and daily. These don't easily get dirty and stains are hidden;

Red if available is for Sunday High Mass and for processions and other special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, Corpus Christi, patronal feast et cetera.
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Old Aug 3, '10, 8:45 am
NPC NPC is offline
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Default Re: Difference between color of cassocks for altar boys

In his book How to Serve (in Simple, Solemn, and Pontifical Functions), the author, Dom Matthew Britt, O.S.B., says the following:

The proper dress for any server is a black cassock and a plain linen surplice.

...While there is no rubric forbidding the use of red cassocks, their use violates the spirit of the liturgy as does the use of cinctures, birettas, and the vesting of altar boys as miniature prelates.
A footnote to this says the following:

Cassocks of altar boys should be black. It is fitting that a boy serving Mass should wear the clerical garb, which consists, for all clerics who are not prelates, of a black cassock and a white surplice...

The use of red for such cassocks and accessories...dates from the nineteenth century and no earlier, and however attractive red cassocks may be to some, and distracting to others, they do not harmonise well with the dignity of Christian worship. As ministers of the altar the servers have dignity enough from their office without these red vestments...
Now, this book was originally published in 1934, and as others have said, the colour of the cassock is often simply down to local custom. However, I would personally be inclined to agree with the author that a black cassock with a white surplice is the most appropriate garb for servers.
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