Vestment Colors

When did gray become a liturgical color?
At the church where I attended Mass today, the celebrant was wearing a beautiful battleship gray chasable with a red stole overlay.
The priest is from Ireland, is this something from the Emerald Isle?
The deacon was in the expected purple vestments.

Well, I’m guessing that this gray chasuble was supposed to be some sort of pale purple/lavender but didn’t quite hit the mark. (Kind of like the font color I am using.)

Was he actually wearing a stole over the chasuble or was it part of the design on the chasuble? And was it red or kind of a scarlet red that some people seem to think of as a violet-ish color.

The vestment of lightweight material was certainly not “pale violet” or “pale orchid”, and there was no adornment visible The stole was bright red, with golden fringe, worn under the hood of the chasable, and loosely down the front.

Here is what the GIRM notes:

  1. As to the color of sacred vestments, the traditional usage is to be retained: namely,

White is used in the Offices and Masses during the Easter and Christmas seasons; also on celebrations of the Lord other than of his Passion, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Holy Angels, and of Saints who were not Martyrs; on the Solemnities of All Saints (1 November) and of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (24 June); and on the Feasts of Saint John the Evangelist (27 December), of the Chair of Saint Peter (22 February), and of the Conversion of Saint Paul (25 January).

Red is used on Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion and on Good Friday, on Pentecost Sunday, on celebrations of the Lord’s Passion, on the feasts of the Apostles and Evangelists, and on celebrations of Martyr Saints.

Green is used in the Offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.

Violet or purple is used in Advent and of Lent. It may also be worn in Offices and Masses for the Dead (cf. below).

Besides violet, white or black vestments may be worn at funeral services and at other Offices and Masses for the Dead in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

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

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

Gold or silver colored vestments may be worn on more solemn occasions in the dioceses of the United States of America.

Now, with regard to the stole, the GIRM makes it very clear that:

  1. The vestment proper to the priest celebrant at Mass and other sacred actions directly connected with Mass is, unless otherwise indicated, the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole.

RS further clarifies this point:

[123.] “The vestment proper to the Priest celebrant at Mass, and in other sacred actions directly connected with Mass unless otherwise indicated, is the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole”.213 Likewise the Priest, in putting on the chasuble according to the rubrics, is not to omit the stole. All Ordinaries should be vigilant in order that all usage to the contrary be eradicated.

I hope this helps.

I would cut him some slack about the grey chasuble. He probably meant it to be a light purple.

Once I got what I thought would be a sand-colored riassa (appropriate for Phoenix), and it came out yellowish. It has since aged to a bright banana color and has been retired.

The following tidbit has absolutely nothing to do with the OF, but it might be of interest all the same.

FWIW, grey was considered a liturgical color (as an alternate to violet) in the now-suppressed Gallican Rite (and perhaps in others as well). (While I could be mistaken, I seem to think it was restricted to Lent.) Anyway, as I recall, such use of grey continued in parts of France (including Lyons which was the one surviving use of the Gallican) until the arrival of the OF, and I think it is still so used in the EF in Lyons.

Prior to the Tradition Latin Mass where a black chasuble was traditionally worn by a priest during the Funeral Requiem Masses. Today white chasubles are now used today across most of North America. In my parish the priest wears a white chasuble with a medium gray inlay down the center both front and back with white crosses going down the center of the inlay. This gray inlay also matches the Funeral Pall used for the casket. I’ve never seen a chasuble that is completely gray. I have seen some beautifully crafted Marian vestments used on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe used on December 12th that are an off gray with embroidered roses inlay on the chasuble. However I don’t believe such vestments are liturgically correct as with the same as blue Marian vestments. Traditionally; since both Marian Feasts of the Immaculate Conception (“Dec 8th”) and Our Lady of Guadalupe (“Dec 12th”) are celebrated respectively in the Advent season. I would think purple or violet vestments should still be used.

Sometimes priests do not carry vestments with them when they travel. There is a chance that this visiting priest simply wore what fit him and was available back in the sacristy closet.

It’s funny that this topic was posted, because I had a similar question about my priest’s vestments. Priests that I have seen in the past have worn blue vestments during Advent. I always thought that blue was the liturgical color for the season. But the priest at my new church was wearing purple. I thought he was doing something wrong, but it looks like he’s right and the other priests I’ve seen are wrong.

Any thoughts on priests wearing blue? :shrug:

As a general rule, blue is forbidden for all except for a few places that have an indult to use a blue on certain Marian Feasts. It’s certainly not a licit colour for Advent.

Some parishes use a different purple for Advent from what they use during Lent but it’s certainly not necessary.

Blue was the color of Advent in England’s medieval Sarum Rite. But the Sarum Rite isn’t active today, and it certainly isn’t active in the US. Episcopal/Anglican folks bring this stuff out; but we’re not Episcopal/Anglican.

Problem is, before the Internet a lot of priests got bad information from conferences and classes and journals. My parish did blue Advent for a year or two in the nineties, until the bishop (or somebody) told them. They didn’t know any better. So don’t think too badly of what may just be ignorance.

Re: gray

It probably was just a very bad try at silver, with the red stole for some kind of martyr or Holy Spirit thing. Was somebody getting Confirmed?

I’ve also been thinking about a vestment color question. Do the priest and deacon have to match colors when there is an option? I’m thinking if there are rose vestments for the priest, but not for the deacon for 3rd Sunday of Advent. Or white vestments for the priest, but only purple or black for the deacon for a funeral.

As long as priests and deacons wear an allowed color it doesn’t matter if they match. In my parish we have multiple deacons and they all supply their own stoles and/or dalmatics. Most of them don’t have rose so if there are two or more deacons at a Mass we usually have some rose and some violet.

Was it really blue ? I have heard that Advent purple is a more bluish purple, while Lent purple is more reddish.

You can’t be serious. Liturgical colors are basic liturgical knowledge that even my 7th graders know. Any priest who is ignorant of liturgical colors should have been flunked out of the seminary.

Oh, I don’t doubt it was blue. There are lots of blue vestments for sale precisely because the Anglicans and others use this kind of blue in Advent. Some Catholic Priests have opted to use the same colour in spite of the fact that it’s not allowed.

What is it with the use of tapestry ornamentation? That chasuble itself (except for the silly color) is acceptable (not wonderful but of better cut and drape than most) but the tapestry stripe is, to my taste, quite out of place. Then there’s the “collar” which, I suppose, is intended to mimic an apparelled amice. If so, it seems to me that it fails miserably. If not, I have no idea what it’s doing there at all. :shrug:

Yes, it was definitely blue. The vestments were in that style, but the blue was darker, more like this

poster was just giving an example of what catalogs of liturgical vestments offer, and why some parishes can be deluded into ordering what is not appropriate for Catholic liturgy. these houses market to all denominations.

my question is this, GIRM cited above notes “traditional colors are to be retained.” What and when is the origin of these traditional colors? How long have these been the traditional colors, when was this standardized (as we have noted different rites have had different practices).

my guess is the grey chasuble noted by OP was supposed to look like silver and was a cheap polyester that has lost its sheen

Perhaps this might be helpful. :slight_smile:

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