Colors of vestments


#1

I’ve only been going to Mass for a short while. Usually, our priest wears a green robe, but the other day, there was a man (priest?) who led the Mass and he was in a red robe. Do the colors signify anything?


#2

Yes the colors signify something. The colors vary based on the liturgical season and the calendar of saint's feast days. Most of the time the color changes due to the liturgical season but a feast day of a martyr would be red for example. Each of the colors symbolize a sort of "mood". Purple symbolizes penance and white joy etc. Just look up Catholic liturgical colors and you can read more about them.


#3

The colors do indeed have meaning.

Right now we're in Ordinary Time and the color used in Ordinary Time is green.

The red you saw might have been on the feast day of a martyr since red is used for those days.

Other colors that are used include violet, white, and rose.

This page sums it all up: catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0172.html

In terms of seasons,

WHITE: Christmas season and Easter season
GREEN: Ordinary Time
VIOLET: Advent and Lent

Within the seasons certain colors are worn on particular days:

WHITE: Feasts of the Lord, feasts of Mary, feasts of non-martyr saints, nuptial Masses, funeral Masses
RED: Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Pentecost, feasts of martyrs
ROSE: Gaudete Sunday (3rd Sunday of Advent), Laetere Sunday (4th Sunday of Lent)
BLACK: May be worn on All Souls Day or for funerals but I've never seen it


#4

Though I try to find sources other than Wikipedia for information regarding the Church, this entry provides the most succinct explanation of liturgical colors, for both the ordinary and extraordinary forms, that I could locate quickly.

Liturgical colors in the Roman Catholic Church

Hope it helps. It appears to be accurate, but I could be mistaken about that. In any event, the overview of usage in the ordinary form corresponds to my experience as a sacristan so I believe it to be correct.


#5

GIRM 346 h) The colors gold or silver may be worn on more solemn occasions in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

*
The wording is slightly different in Canada, England and Wales.
[FONT=Arial]
*GIRM 346 h) On more solemn days, festive, that is, more precious, sacred vestments may be
* used even if not of the colour of the day.*

346 h) in the French GIRM (PGMR), which applies to France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada & North Africa is almost identical to the English/Welsh/Canadian one.

[/FONT]


#6

I'm going to jump on this teaching moment.

A priest wears special clothes during the Mass, these are called vestments. Vestments are used to show that the priest is not acting by his own power, but in the person of Christ. I'll go over the basic vestments used for the Mass, and I'll try to keep it simple. I'll also explain their meaning using prayers that priests used to say when they put them on, but this has since been made optional.

http://whycatholicsdothat.com/wp-content/uploads/Alb-draw1.jpeg
First the priest puts on an alb, a long white robe. The alb is meant to cover all the priest's clothes (save maybe shoes), and it represents purity. It's often explained as being like the white garment of purity we all receive at Baptism.

http://whycatholicsdothat.com/wp-content/uploads/stole-cartoon.jpeg
After the priest puts on the stole. The priest will also wear this for other sacraments, like Reconciliation. The stole represents immortality, priestly authority, and priestly burden. You can think of it as a yoke placed around the priest's shoulders, and also a mark of where Christ carried his cross (on the neck and shoulders).

http://whycatholicsdothat.com/wp-content/uploads/chasuble2.jpeg
The chasuble is the final, outer garment of the priest. This also represents the yoke of Christ, but it also represents charity. This is why the chasuble is meant to be worn over the stole during Mass: a priest's charity should be more prevalent than his authority.

This is a very simple description, and there are many more vestments. If there's anything else I can do to help, let me know.

Now, for the colors:
[LIST]
*]White is used most often. It represents celebration, and eternal life.
*]Green is used when no other color is perscribed. It represents the steady growth of the Church.
*]Purple is a penitential color. It's used during Lent, since this is a time of penance. It is also the color of the stole the priest wears when he administers the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is penetential in nature.
*]Red is representative of blood or fire. It's used on the feasts of martyrs, and on occasions like Good Friday, when Christ shed his blood. It's also used on Pentecost and other Masses of the Holy Spirit, to represent the Spirit's appearance in toungues of fire.
*]Rose can be used two days a year, each near the end of Lent and Advent. It's meant to show that these penetential times will soon give way to joy. That's why it's a mixture of the two colors.
*]Black is optional for funerals. It represents mourning.
[/LIST]

Like I said, this is a very general overview. If there's anything I can do to help, as here, or message me.

If I made any mistakes or something isn't clear, let me know.


#7

Gold may also be used, mainly for Masses around Christmas and Easter. In the EF Mass it can be used for Special Feast days. Our FSSP priest uses the Gold many times during the year. This set of vestments is extraordinarily beautiful as many of the parish ladies worked on the restoration.


#8

Please allow it to be specified that the days during Advent and Lent when the rose color is allowed are called Gaudete Sunday and Laetare Sunday after the liturgical introits of those days.

Gaudete Sunday:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

Laetare Sunday:

Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis,et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. Psalm: Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.

Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. Psalm: I rejoiced when they said to me: "we shall go into God's House!


#9

Note that one color not listed is blue. In the Latin Rite, blue vestments are only permitted for use in Spain, Portugal, and parts of Latin America on Marian feasts, but are not permitted elsewhere. The use of blue vestments during Advent as a substitute for purple is not allowed.


#10

[quote="SuscipeMeDomine, post:3, topic:337350"]

WHITE: Feasts of the Lord, feasts of Mary, feasts of non-martyr saints, nuptial Masses, funeral Masses

[/quote]

The liturgical colour for requiem Masses is Violet. (in the OF)

White and black are allowed in certain dioceses at the request of Bishops to the Holy See. In the US for example the USCCB has permission for White or Black to be used. Violet remains the norm.

In our own parish the norm is Black but we sometimes use Violet. I have never seen White used.


#11

[quote="Spudbynight, post:10, topic:337350"]
The liturgical colour for requiem Masses is Violet. (in the OF)

White and black are allowed in certain dioceses at the request of Bishops to the Holy See. In the US for example the USCCB has permission for White or Black to be used. Violet remains the norm.

In our own parish the norm is Black but we sometimes use Violet. I have never seen White used.

[/quote]

The USCCB does not have any special "permission" for black to be used, for the simple reason that the use of black does not require any permission. The GIRM mentions black as a color that may be used at Masses for the dead. It is available to all.


#12

Violet is the universal norm, black is also a universal option that nobody has to request permission for.

White is allowed when a country has permission for it, although it is completely and utterly devoid of history in the West for funeral liturgies and I do not understand the message being sent by it outside of some Asian cultures. White is simply not a color of mourning in the West; it is not part of the Western psyche of death, although some would love its symbolism to be… I recall that in the past sometimes a sullen or ashen color was worn in some places in Europe, a greyish color, but this was always distinct from the bright and pure white of feasts and Marian days.


#13

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:12, topic:337350"]
Violet is the universal norm, black is also a universal option that nobody has to request permission for.

White is allowed when a country has permission for it, although it is completely and utterly devoid of history in the West for funeral liturgies and I do not understand the message being sent by it outside of some Asian cultures. White is simply not a color of mourning in the West; it is not part of the Western psyche of death, although some would love its symbolism to be.... I recall that in the past sometimes a sullen or ashen color was worn in some places in Europe, a greyish color, but this was always distinct from the bright and pure white of feasts and Marian days.

[/quote]

We are constantly told that if we truly believe we should not be mourning, we should be rejoicing that they're now with God, thus presuming that nobody goes anywhere but Heaven. Kind of makes you feel like a bad Catholic that you're sad you've lost your parent/sibling/best friend.


#14

[quote="Phemie, post:13, topic:337350"]
We are constantly told that if we truly believe we should not be mourning, we should be rejoicing that they're now with God, thus presuming that nobody goes anywhere but Heaven. Kind of makes you feel like a bad Catholic that you're sad you've lost your parent/sibling/best friend.

[/quote]

I don't understand, what do you mean?

Well, I don't think I believe the bold.


#15

I personally want black for my funeral.

I don't what everyone "celebrating my life," I'll be burning in purgatory! I need prayers.

They can use white for my beatification Mass.


#16

[quote="L_Marshall, post:15, topic:337350"]
I personally want black for my funeral.

I don't what everyone "celebrating my life," I'll be burning in purgatory! I need prayers.

They can use white for my beatification Mass.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#17

[quote="Phemie, post:13, topic:337350"]
We are constantly told that if we truly believe we should not be mourning, we should be rejoicing that they're now with God, thus presuming that nobody goes anywhere but Heaven. Kind of makes you feel like a bad Catholic that you're sad you've lost your parent/sibling/best friend.

[/quote]

We don't know that they are with God. The point of a requiem is to pray for their soul in the hope they are with God.

The only people we know are in Heaven, and as such with God, are the saints.


#18

Sorry, you are both correct. It is just the white that requires permission.

Mea culpa


#19

I would like to see black vestments being used for Good Friday in the OF.


#20

[quote="Stitch, post:19, topic:337350"]
I would like to see black vestments being used for Good Friday in the OF.

[/quote]

I only have my EF Ordo and Missal to hand. What colour is it in the OF?


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