Blue instead of violet during lent?


The Altar Servers got new cinctures at our church. However, the office ordered blue instead of violet. I brought it to the deacons attention, thinking it was a mistake, but he said it wasn’t. He told me blue can be used instead of violet. The rubics says that blue cannot be used in place of violet during advent, but it doesn’t say anything about lent. Where can I find the correct liturgical colors?


You’re conflating 2 different issues.

Altar servers can have cinctures of any color- they don’t have to match the priest’s vestments.

Yes, blue is not a correct color for Lent.


Where can I find that rule?


The GIRM and other liturgical documents are silent on the color of alb cinctures. So there aren’t any official rubrics on this matter.

If he means blue can be used instead of violet in the liturgy-- priest/deacon vestments-- he is not correct.
Blue is not a liturgical color. Since there aren’t any specifications on the color of the cincture for servers, I suppose they could wear blue.

That said, it will be awfully weird for the servers to have blue cinctures.

The GIRM. But you won’t find anything about alb cincture color there.

I’ve never seen a blue cincture. All of the liturgical supply catalogs I am familiar with have white, red, purple, and green.


GIRM 345 - 347 discuss vestment color:

  1. Diversity of color in the sacred vestments has as its purpose to give more effective expression even outwardly whether to the specific character of the mysteries of faith to be celebrated or to a sense of Christian life’s passage through the course of the liturgical year.

  2. As regards the color of sacred vestments, traditional usage should be observed, namely:

a) The color white is used in the Offices and Masses during Easter Time and Christmas Time; on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity; and furthermore on celebrations of the Lord other than of his Passion, celebrations of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Holy Angels, and of Saints who were not Martyrs; on the Solemnities of All Saints (November 1) and of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June24 ); and on the Feasts of St. John the Evangelist (December 27), of the Chair of St. Peter (February 22), and of the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25).

b) The color red is used on Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion and on Friday of Holy Week (Good Friday), on Pentecost Sunday, on celebrations of the Lord’s Passion, on the “birthday” feast days of Apostles and Evangelists, and on celebrations of Martyr Saints.

c) The color green is used in the Offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.

d) The color violet or purple is used in Advent and Lent. It may also be worn in Offices and Masses for the Dead.

e) Besides the color violet, the colors white or black may be used at funeral services and at other Offices and Masses for the Dead in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

f) The color rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and on Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent).

g) On more solemn days, festive, that is, more precious, sacred vestments may be used even if not of the color of the day.

h) The colors gold or silver may be worn on more solemn occasions in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

  1. Ritual Masses are celebrated in their proper color, in white, or in a festive color; Masses for Various Needs, on the other hand, are celebrated in the color proper to the day or the time of year or in violet if they have a penitential character, for example, nos. 31, 33, or 38; Votive Masses are celebrated in the color suited to the Mass itself or even in the color proper to the day or the time of the year.


So, blue could be worn for the Assumption of the Blessed Mother instead of white, because it is a special Mass, but it cannot be worn in place of violet during lent, correct?


If I were in your shoes, I’d ask the priest about the blue and see what he says.


Blue trim on a white vestment, yes.

A blue vestment-- only if the place or the country has received the privilege from the Pope as far as I know. Certain Marian shrines have this privilege as does the country of Spain for the feast of the Immaculate Conception (and maybe countries once ruled by Spain).

This rubric doesn’t mean get out your crayon box and pick any color. It’s basically talking about wearing a vestment made out of fabrics such as a brocade or cloth of gold.

Also I speak only of Latin Rite rubrics. I don’t know about the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. They might have blue as a liturgical color. Not sure.


No, blue is not approved for the liturgy. As said above, some blue on the vestment is kinda sneaking it in.


Seconded. I think blue cinctures would look extremely out of place during Lent or Advent.
Definitely ask the priest.


And if blue were okay, someone would try to sneak in orange. We are just never satisfied with the rules, huh.


Well, that isn’t entirely true as I noted.

Not sneaking in. Vestments have always had trim and ornamentation that may or may not be in a liturgical color.


Blue is, however, normal for Marian feasts for Eastern Catholics.

The year after I was drafted to teach at my kids’ school, my twins had the sister there for third grade.

“What color did the priest where yesterday.”
One of my twins answered, “Blue.”
“No, I don’t think so. Blue isn’t a color we use.”
“My daddy goes to a Byzantine church.”
“We’re not going to discuss that.”


Oh, and there was the time that our previous administrator asked us (the servers) to use the blue sticharion (robe) that were hanging there for a Marian feast.


I tried the larges. I (at 6’2") looked like an overstuffed sausage in an indecently short mini skirt . . . . back go white . . .

(oh, and red is a dark color for us, not a light color).



Trust your pastor.


Blue is an alternate to white for feasts of Our Lady.


I’ve seen vestments with a “trim” that is a good 10 inches wide.


Many supply houses don’t carry all the liturgical colors (try finding black cinctures), but they are of en available if you look at the actually supplier catalogs. Slabbinck carries all the colors in addition to blue. One of our priests uses a blue cincture that matches the blue embroidery in the orphrey of his Marian vestments. They are predominantly cream and silver, but Marian blue figures pretty visibly. Nothing wrong with that obviously, but just thinking of when I have seen a blue cincture used.

As you correctly state there are no rules… I wear a white cincture in all liturgical seasons.


Blue is approved nowhere in the Roman Rite for Advent. Its use…popular as it is in some progressive, avant garde circles…is an abuse.


for the RCC, only with dispensation.

closed #21

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit