Dec 31, 2007

Blue for Advent?

Approved Colors of Liturgical Vestments

Several people have written to us inquiring whether blue is an approved color for liturgical vestments in Advent. It is not. Following is an excerpt from the English translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani.

GIRM § 346

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

a. 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 (November 1) and of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (June 24); and on the Feasts of Saint John the Evangelist (December 27), of the Chair of Saint Peter (February 22), and of the Conversion of Saint Paul (January 25).

b. 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.

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

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

e. 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.

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

g. 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.

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

See also “What Color is Lent?” from Adoremus Bulletin March 1997.

The Editors