Why Do Priests Wear Black?


I was asked why priests were black? Do you have an answer for this?




From: Why Do Priests Wear Black?
By Fr. William P. Saunders
Herald Columnist
(From the issue of 11/6/03)

… The symbolism of the cassock is as follows: The Roman collar symbolizes obedience; the sash or cincture around the waist, chastity; and the color black, poverty. Moreover, black is a color of mourning and death; for the priest, the symbolism is dying to oneself to rise and to serve the Lord as well as giving witness of the Kingdom yet to come.

The Code of Canon Law still requires that

“clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb in accord with the norms issued by the conference of bishops and in accord with legitimate local custom” (no. 284).

In our very secular world, the wearing of clerical garb continues to be a visible sign of belief and of the consecration of one’s life to the service of the Lord and His Church.

Fr. Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls.


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