Colors and Significance of Vestments

I noticed last Sunday that the tabernacle had a green covering. I'm not sure if the tabernacle always has a covering which I have failed to notice but I tend to think it is covered only occasionally. On what occasions is it covered and what is the significance?
Is it symbolic of an ancient Hebrew practice when the Ark might have been covered?

Many things in churches can be in the color of the day or season. In addition to vestments (maniple, stole, dalmatic, chasuble, cope and probably some more), there is the chalice veil, burse, altar veil (which completely covers the front of it), tabernacle veil, pallium (the one for the casket at a funeral) and various banners for the pulpit and walls. Any of these things can be used at any time in the OF and in the EF things like the maniple, chalice veil, and burse are required.

Also, if a certain thing is covered completely (altar, tabernacle, chalice) that is because it is important. As a matter of fact, the church I just went to for Ash Wednesday Mass, has a rectangular tabernacle with a veil such that it looks like the Ark of the Covenant, only without the cherubim. Come to think of it, it IS the Ark of the Covenant, the new and everlasting Covenant.:smiley:

The color on Sunday was green for “Ordinary Time”. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent and so the color for the season will be violet. Violet is also used during Advent. On the feast of the Blessed Mother and saints the color is white. Saints who were martyrs, the color is red. Red is also used on Pentecost and on Good Friday. On major feasts such as Christmas and Easter, Gold is often used instead of white. For funerals the color is either white or violet or black.

This is a pall, and I have only seen it in white. The pallium is a vestment reserved to a metropolitan archbishop, worn around the neck. It is also always white.

I think the pall could also be black as it was in EF masses for the dead and funerals.

I remember back when the casket was covered with black and I know that black is a colour that may be used for funeral vestments in the OF – but the pall is placed as a connection to our baptism and the white garment we received at that time. Can it really be black???

I have heard the connection to baptism noted in several funerals, but I am not sure that is Church teaching. It may well just be someone’s good idea. Actually we use a gray one and gray vestments.

“Pallium” means “Pall”, they’re the same thing and there are three things that use this name: the covering for the casket, the square cover for the chalice, and the vestment of a Metropolitan. A Funeral Pallium is by default black or purple, but in the US it has become customary to use white (which is in no way sad or penitential for a time when we mourn and pray that God will forgive the deceased their sins and bring them to heaven. We know they sinned because we all do.), so the pallium can be white to match, but it still should be black or purple, which is more appropriate for a funeral than white, which is celebratory.

It’s interesting you mention (“burse”) which is very rarely seen at most Masses after Vatican II. I have heard one priest call it a non-essential perhaps out of expediency of setting up the altar after the liturgy of the word. Personally I like the reverent symbolic use of the burse to carry the purificator. The Burse color also followed the liturgical colors according to the season, which was also changed accordingly if there was a wedding or requiem funeral mass. When I was a former full-time Sacristan I also remember the “black” vestments which were formerly used for requiem funeral masses. And for those who can remember six tall candles flanked the casket with three on either side.

newadvent.org/cathen/03084b.htm

Two other articles of vestments no longer in general use today is the (“Maniple”) and the (“Amice”).

[quote="centurionguard, post:10, topic:187257"]

Two other articles of vestments no longer in general use today is the ("Maniple") and the ("Amice").

[/quote]

While rarely seen, the amice is supposed to be used if one's collar will be visible when the alb is worn.

[quote="Phemie, post:11, topic:187257"]
While rarely seen, the amice is supposed to be used if one's collar will be visible when the alb is worn.

[/quote]

In my city there's a small Italian community which would come to every first Sunday of the month at 9:00 am Italian mass. For many years, probably over a decade the only Italian speaking priest was also a professor of theological studies at the French University.
He would say Mass. It was a privilege and treat for me as sacristan to serve as an acolyte on the sanctuary and also brush up on learning some Italian from setting up the Italian Sacramentary and Lectionary. This priest always wore an Amice. Later he was posted to an important position at the Vatican. Today the archbishop does the Italian mass.

It may also be always -]covered/-] veiled in white.

Actually, the burse carries the corporal. The purificator is draped ober the chalice, under the paten.

The color on Sunday was green for “Ordinary Time”. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent and so the color for the season will be violet. Violet is also used during Advent. On the feast of the Blessed Mother and saints the color is white. Saints who were martyrs, the color is red. Red is also used on Pentecost and on Good Friday. On major feasts such as Christmas and Easter, Gold is often used instead of white. For funerals the color is either white or violet or black.
It may also be always -]covered/-] veiled in white.
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With the one exception noted below, the tabernacle veil normally matched the color of the vestments, although a white tabernacle veil was always allowed, irrespective of the liturgical season or color of the vestments. Many smaller churches and chapels often had two veils: a violet one for Lent, Advent and Requiems, and a while one for the rest of the year.

One thing, though: for Requiems, although black vestments were traditionally worn, the tabernacle veil was normally violet. A black veil was never used.

Your correct; my mistake

As I recall, Pre-VII the Tabernacle was always veiled. I think it was mandatory. It symbolized its sacredness and mystery. I think it sad that that has been abandoned in so many churches.

There were, if memory serves, two types of tabernacle veils: one was a full veil that covered the tabernacle from top to bottom on all sides, with a split in the front middle. The other was a two-paneled “curtain” which fit on to a curtain rod on the front of the tabernacle above the door. (The latter was similar in a way to the “curtain” often found inside the doors which was always of white silk.) Personally, I found the full veil to be much more attractive.

As an aside, it’s interesting to note that tabernacles in most of the Eastern and Oriental Churches were generally not veiled, but even so they usually had the silk “curtain” inside the doors.

Also (on a minor note), on the altar where the blessed sacrament is reserved, there also should never be a black antependium (see link for photo, and you’ll probably know what I’m talking about).

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