Skip to comments.Catholic Vestment Colors
Posted on 12/26/2003 2:43:36 PM PST by NYer
Question from Sean Williams on 04-24-2003:
|Is it ever permitted to wear vestment colors other than those listed in the GIRM for a special occasion (e.g., blue for a Marian feast)? Also, on Holy Saturday, is it permitted to have a memorial service, as long as it does not involve exposition of the Blessed Sacrament?|
Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 05-01-2003:
| No liturgies, whatsoever, are permitted on Holy Saturday, prior to the Vigil Mass. Nor may Communion be given, except to the dying.
Blue is not a color recognized for the United States. This would not forbid its use in decoration of a white vestment, the proper color for Our Lady's feasts.
GIRM 346. As to the color of sacred vestments, the traditional usage is to be retained: namely,
1. 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).
2. 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.
3. Green is used in the Offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
4. Violet or purple is used in Advent and of Lent. It may also be worn in Offices and Masses for the Dead (cf. below).
5. 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.
6. Rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and on Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent).
7. 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.
8. Gold or silver colored vestments may be worn on more solemn occasions in the dioceses of the United States of America.
Once again, our 'pastor' went all out to celebrate the Midnight Mass at 7pm on Christmass Eve. The altar sported a floor length red altar cloth with embroidered panels hanging down (and a small white handkerchief for the chalice). He was dressed in red! Later that night, I watched the mass from the National Cathedral in Washington where everyone was vested in white. On Christmas day, I watched the bishop's (prerecorded) mass. He too was dressed in white.
According to all of my research, corroborated by this response at EWTN, the proper vestment color for the Midnight Mass is white. Reading through the EWTN response, there is that exception posted at #7.
My question to all of you - what color vestments did your priest wear at whichever Christmas you attended?
This would imply that the kneelers were previously removed, is that so?
Here in the Diocese of Albany NY, the bishop unleashed Dr. Fr. Vosko, "the wreckovator of churches" on the US, after he applied his "progressive" and "innovative" wizzardry on the local area churches. Most of those renovations included removing the kneelers. The USCCB and the Vatican have ruled that kneelers are required in ALL Catholic churches. Gradually, the kneelers are being replaced. It would seem that your church is pulling into compliance with the GIRM.
*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.*
That's his "out" clause ... lol!
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