Musicians wearing liturgical colors

I have noticed some music directors, musicians and choir members wear liturgical colors in their choice of clothing. Is that a widespread custom or practice? I realize this affects women maybe more than men, but do men do this in choice of ties, etc?

I don’t like it. I’ve seen it happen, and I find it to be improper. These liturgical colors are set for the ordained.


I know a number of parishes that do this. I don’t know if that is enough to say it is widespread. And it’s just musicians. I know parishes where lots of parishioners have “liturgical” wardrobes.

The most popular colors seem to be white and shades of red, violet, and rose. And I don’t just see it in the men’s ties. I see plenty of men with shirts in those colors.

They are prescribed for the ordained… but they’re not reserved to them. :wink:

If they were reserved to the ordained then that would mean the non-ordained would have to consciously avoid wearing the liturgical color of the day.

I do this quite a bit, though mostly for major days. This Sunday will definetly be a red shirt and tie. My wife does the same thing just because she likes to follow the liturgical season. We are not the only ones. This Sunday will have more red dresses than normal. I have my Christmas tie. I use blue and purple ties for Advent and Lent. I do not do anything particular for ordinary time, though.

We were all asked to wear the colors of fire next week in celebration of Pentecost. I don’t think it is inappropriate at all to wear liturgical colors. I think it is nice that the choir is asked to wear them, although our choir wears blue robes all the time.

What on earth is wrong with women wearing a red blouse, and men a red tie, on Pentecost? Or blue on a Marian feast? We’re talking street clothes here, not matchy-matchy choir robes. Do you consciously avoid wearing anything green to church during the many weeks of Ordinary time?

Personally, I think it’s corny and lame. It’s one thing to go to Mass and wear red only to realize it’s Pentecost, but if you’re choosing your daily wardrobe based on the liturgical colors…

I have noticed this with our cantor. I don’t know if it is a policy of the church, but I’ve seen several cantors/readers do this.

I don’t have enough church-suitable clothing in the particular colors to do it, but even if I did, I’d avoid doing it! I think it looks like you’re sucking up in some way. Or you’re a wanna-be.


Citation as to those colors being reserved to only the clergy at Mass?

I don’t believe musicians should make a concerted effort to harmonize their attire. It looks incredibly tacky, especially if they’re a bunch of middle-aged women. They appear to be craving attention. Of course, if they’re in a choir-loft at the back of the church where no one will be able to see their preening, it doesn’t much matter.

As a layman who is not active in the sanctuary unless I am taking the Collection, I often wear “liturgical clothing” for the major days. Yesterday, for the transferred Solemnity of the Ascension, I wore a light blue dress shirt and gold tie with my suit. On Pentecost I will wear a white-and-black dress shirt with a plain red tie.

Most men just throw on whatever shirt is closest when they wake up in the morning. I like to unite my heart with the mind of the Church. :wink:

I love wearing liturgical colours and will continue to do so. I don’t think it’s tacky. II’m a very classy woman. :wink:

I see this as a sort of decorating the Church and acknowledging the significance of whatever feasts/seasons/solemnities are being observed.

Many parishes choose flowers or other decorations that reflect the liturgical color of the day(s). It’s been my observation that many people who post in the Liturgy and Sacraments and the Traditional Catholicism forums attend Mass at churches that are “beautiful churches”; but I’d guess most people attend Mass at one of those plain/contemporary 60s or 70s style churches where seasonal decorations and the people themselves ARE what make the church “beautiful”.

Yes, it may seem a bit corny. But at least it shows that people know what season/feast is being observed that day. And if someone shows up not knowing what day it is (and I suspect the majority of Catholics do NOT check their calendar before they show up for Sunday Mass) they might realize something is going on if a noticeable percentage of the people are wearing the same color.

Of all the topics of liturgical concern…
This is a very subtle form of iconoclasm, IMO. But its a straw man issue at best. As silly as it would seem to demand choristers to imitate the images of frescoes and mosaics showing angel choir hosts in flowing white gowns carrying lyres, it is equally pointless to critically obsess over whether a choir accessorizes their clothing in liturgical colors appointed for a particular feast day or choral event.
I remember adjudicating a collegiate choir festival decades ago. Each ensemble save one had beautifully chosen gowns for their women in various tasteful colors to match the men’s tuxedos. Then a “lesser endowed ($)” choir took the stage. The men did wear tuxes, but the women wore floor length black skirts and long sleeve (satin) blouses of all the varying primary and blended colors. The effect was stunningly wonderful, and in its way, reminded everyone that uniformity as well as beauty is in the eye of…
I’d suggest we pay more attention to the internals of what our rituals mean (which I happen to think is what HHFrancis is sharing in his daily homilies and addresses to clergy and lay alike) rather than whether a baritone, lector or EMHC wears purple ties during Lent.


I don’t mind seeing people wearing liturgical colors either. I am the person who is wearing red, white, and blue on the 4th of July, I wear Christmas colors on Christmas, etc. I think it is classy, as well. :slight_smile:

At our parish we are encouraged to match the colors for major days or seasons (Easter, Pentecost, Lent, Advent.) I wore purple or violet for Lent throughout the season. I actually look pretty good in it. :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t wear white though throughout the Easter season. And sometimes I just skip the whole thing. Gray is a good color. Otherwise I am waiting for the hot pink liturgical season.

IMO the attire of the choir should be left up to the choir director or the priest.

I personally wear the color for the day when possible, making my shirt and/or tie the right color, but I wear the cassock and surplice when singing in mass.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. When I serve at our Cathedral, I usually wear a bowtie on my way into the sacristy (granted no one sees it during the Mass).

I imagine it being tacky, however, if you have an entire choir in different shades of greens.

Perhaps because green suits are still associated with used car salesmen? :whistle:

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