Fr. Z’s annual rant against BLUE vestments – and POLL

Each year in The Wanderer I go on a tear about use of BLUE vestments duing Advent.  This year I will rant earlier so that it might do additional good. 

In Latin we say repetita iuvant (repeated things help).  So, here we go. 

I say again: blue vestments, no matter what anyone says, are still not licit for the Latin Rite.  

Maybe someday they will be, but they aren’t right now. 

Long time readers of WDTPRS know I have a parody song about blue vestments for Advent composed by our Official WDTDPRS Parody Meistersinger, Tim Ferguson who posts here regularly.

Here it is, a service to you, the long-suffering in the pews.  We want to help you endure the stupidities through a little levity. 

This is sung to the tune of O Come, O Come Emmanuel:

O come, o come liturgical blue;
out with the old, and in with the new.
Let’s banish purple vestments from here,
the color blue is very HOT this year.

Gaudy, gaudy, gaudy chasubles,
in baby, navy, powderpuff and teal.

Since Advent is the Blessed Virgin’s time,
we’ll wear blue, though it’s a canonic crime,
and in the third week, we’ll wear white.
Although it’s wrong, we’ll say that it’s alright.


Around the wreath we’ll place blue candlelight,
and in one corner, we will place one white.
We’ll drape blue over our communion rail,
and use blue burses with blue chalice veils.

Every year I like to affirm my deep affection for the lovely but liturgically illegal color blue.  If and when blue vestments are ever approved for use in the Latin Church I will have made a set of blue vestments complete with maniple, chalice veil and burse. 

However, if blue is ever approved I will probably resent the fact that widespread abuse led to that approval!  That how the liberals got Communion in the hand and altar girls and the domination of the vernacular over Latin, etc., etc., etc. 

I might also resent the fact that apparently only “progressive” violations of law could in the past receive Vatican okeydokeys.  Firestorms of wrath were rained down by aging-hippie pastors and chancery barnacles upon those who want “traditional” things like Latin, birettas, or saying Mass ad orientem – all of which are and always have been perfectly licit. 

Of course now that we have Pope Benedict XVI and his work to reinvigorate Catholic tradition and identity, we may be seeing the whole dynamic shift.  As a matter of fact, I think the whole blue vestment thing is dying out.  The poll (below) will show something about that.  But I am rather like a guy with a shotgun who keeps blasting at its legs even as it crawls off to die.

Still, there are many in powerful positions who, though on the losing side of things, who continue causing problems.  Can you imagine how the abovementioned would totally freak out if some priest who was not in a position where he could easily defend his status decided to do something so outrageous as, perhaps, use a silent Canon in a Novus Ordo celebration?   You would not believe how I was once dressed down, literally screamed at by priest because I once dared to wear an entirely legitimate Roman-style vestment instead of the post-modern horse blanket he preferred.  This same fellow consistently used vulgarity when the topic of rubrics was mentioned. 

Assent will be given to nearly any aberration while properly imposed discipline is rejected. 

Moreover, the claim that abuses are not widespread is pure fantasy. 

What rankles the most is that those who commit the violations are often rewarded

In any event, until blue is approved I will use only purple and rosacea during Advent. 

And the really irritating thing about this is that the progressivists or know that conservatives tend to obey in matters liturgical.  Liberals can get away with nearly anything they want and they will act with defiance if told by authority they can’t.   As a result, the higher ups of the Church are rather afraid to censure liberals.  On the other hand, since conservatives tend to follow the law and respect authority, sometimes even respecting authority in spheres where authority have no authority, the high ups, when liberals, tend to slam the more conservatives guys with all they have because they know they will obey.  They know we won’t put up too much of a fight in the end. 

So, ought we to do the same?  Violate the law until we get our way? 

I think I’d rather enjoy using blue vestments. 

Or better yet, how about just geting as many of us more traditional priests together and insisting on celebrating every Mass ad orientem and entire in Latin in the Novus Ordo until we get OUR WAY for a change? 

We could simply kneel tell everyone to kneel for the whole Mass and especially Communion, until the law is changed back to what it was. 

But alas!  The nearly obsessive need for more traditional priests and groups of trads to protect their own little wrinkle on the truth, the own little divot of turf, most traditionalists couldn’t set aside the nuances of their differences long enough to band together and organize a cock-fight much less a concerted effort to create a powerful lobby for authentic liturgical renewal. 

With the advent of Summorum Pontificum and the scene truly shifting under the Benedictine "Marshall Plan", maybe people will wake up and realize that we are stronger than we thought, and don’t need to be so defensive of our special insights.

In the meantime, I will continue to wear purple, avoid the blues, dream of happier days, and do my best to uphold the liturgical law.




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RosieC says:

    Verse 3 mentions Communion rails. Do they actually have Communion rails at the sorts of places where blue vestments are worn?

  2. Brad says:

    In high school once I did ask the chaplain about blue vestments being used for Advent. I was told it was perfectly acceptable at the time because the use of blue vestments during Advent was really a Medieval Spanish tradition, the only problems with that being that we aren’t living in the 14th century and we are not Spaniards. That’s not to mention I don’t give that theory much credit. However, I have never seen white used before for Gaudete Sunday. So how did the blue/white fad really get started to begin with, besides a bunch of aging hippies with no respect for liturgical authority? I’m curious to know what the official party line is with this.

  3. TNCath says:

    Haven’t seen the blue Advent vestments much, but I have seen a priest in our diocese wear sky blue vestments on Marian feasts. I was under the impression that blue could only be used by special indult in Fatima, but I may be completely wrong. These blue vestments were part of a set of vestments made locally by a well-meaning but misguided parishioner who provided every priest that ever served in her parish a set in all the liturgical colors, except black, of course. They were these poncho-like chasubles with a gaudy, gold embroidered, wide overlay stole, which was also a violation of the rules of vesture. Anyhow, I then started noticing that at the funerals of priests in the 1980’s, several deceased priests bodies were dressed in these vestments, perhaps in the hopes that they might disappear forever.

  4. kal says:

    Last weekend the sanctuary was adorned with dead birch trees covered in blue Christmas lights, one on either side of the Crucifix, the altar and ambo had multi-blue shaded felt banners, the Advent candle had three blue and one rose candle. The celebrant wore a white alb with a navy blue stole, no chasuble here (I recall seeing a chasuble on Holy Thursday once, that might be it in the last several years, always just an alb with a stole.) To usher in Advent we had a quartet of guitars, playing the blues I think, that was so ridiculous my eleven year old son started laughing at the music. Blue, have I seen blue — oh, yeah, blue, blue, blue.

  5. Ellen says:

    After a number of years wearing blue, our pastor now wears purple vestments at Advent. He still refuses to wear rose. When asked about this one Sunday before Mass, his response was (in earshot of several people, including my husband): “Pink is for girls.”

  6. Michael says:

    Our previous pastor (the priests at my parish are Redemptorists) used blue vestments one year, but he must have been chastised by someone because they never reappeared. Our current pastor has never made use of them and has corrected most of the other minor abuses which existed.

  7. paleothomist says:

    Fr. Z,

    Thanks for posting the lyrics for Liturgical Blue. I have fond memories of Tim (and others) singing this around the table at St. Agnes on Tuesday nights. You should post some of his other songs. I particularly liked ‘My Bishop Got Run Over by Ratzinger.’ Seems even more appropriate now!

    (p.s. for Tim Ferguson: If you are reading this post. Think: Brady Hall, that’s me)

  8. Jason in San Antonio says:

    “So, ought we to do the same? Violate the law until we get our way?”

    I know you were being tongue-in-cheek, Father, but I can’t help but be reminded of the following quote from Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, which, while not entirely on point, captures something of the sentiment of your closing line:

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

  9. AS says:

    The thing that bothers me is the use of so many different shades of purple.

    We have a deep wine purple stole hanging off the alter, another much lighter shade of purple for the chasuble, and yet another shade for the candles and various church decorations. Definitely needs a wonan’s touch because we men are all colour blind.

    (As for me, I have never been able to distinguish between navy blue and black. I usually wear one of each for socks….)

  10. BTC says:

    Speaking as a priest of the Orthodox Church, serving in the Russian tradition, I can say that many sets of blue vestments are among the most beautiful and dignified sets I have seen. We particularly use them for Annunciation and around the feast of Assumption / Dormition. In my opinion the blue brocades with inwoven gold are the loveliest.

  11. Melchior Cano says:


    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t blue still an approved liturgical color for the Mozararabic Rite? I realize that this isn’t the Roman Rite, but its still approved for use in the Latin Rite, albeit not for everyone.

  12. Brendan says:

    Actually, I went to Mass at an SSPX chapel on the Feast of the Assumption and the priest was wearing BLUE vestments.

    He made a point to address the issue before leaving the sanctuary.

    He said that Spanish priests were allowed to wear blue vestments because of a special indult granted to them by some long dead pope. (Which is what Brad may be referring to above)

    I never researched it, but it would be interesting to know the particulars.

  13. Jim says:

    If you need another subject for another rant, I have one for you. My pet peeve is our current pastor’s use of an odd formula in imposing the final blessing . . . “May Almighty God bless US in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This seems to be catching on in my diocese among the more liberal minded clergy.

    Lest this be interpreted as somewhat off topic, I would point out that the same pastor favors the use of rainbow stoles and preaches the inevitability of woman priests.

  14. Melchior Cano says:


    I correct myself. While it seems that blue is still approved in certain Spanish dioceses for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Mozarabic Rite no longer maintains its on distinct colors. Only the Ambrosian rite does so. Here is an excerpt from the Catholic Encylopedia article, “Liturgical Colors”:

    “In the Roman Rite, since Pius V, colours are five in number, viz.: white, red, green, violet, and black. Rose colour is employed only on Lætare and Gaudete Sundays. Blue is prescribed in some dioceses of Spain for the Mass of the Immaculate Conception”

    And further on:

    “Outside of Rome uniformity of observance was effected in the second quarter of the nineteenth century by the abrogation of other uses. In the Western Church only the Ambrosian Rite retains its peculiar colours.”

  15. I love blue vestments says:

    The use of blue vestments for feasts of Our Lady is widely used in Latin America and was used for years before the Council. There is an idult in the Archdiocese of LA for the use of blue for feasts of Our Lady that do not have anything to do with her purity (when white is used). The indult pre-dates VII.

    According to the Bull of the Crusades (renewed by every Pope until Pius XII inclusive) numerous privileges are granted to Spanish territories and former territories including those former USA Spanish territories. Indeed in response to a question from the Bishop of Santa Fe NM in the 1940s, the privileges of that Bull were deemed to extend to the custom of eating meat on Fridays etc.

    A request from the Cardinal Archbishop of Seville immediately prior to VII concerning the anticipation of Matins received the response that no customs were abrogated by the 1960 Motu Proprio that reformed the rubrics for the missal and breviary and that the Pope would address the issue of the Bull after the Council (a thing which never happened).

    The idea that blue was ever used in Advent anywhere is utter nonsense.

    Blue was considered the color of the Holy Spirit in the Sarum Rite. (A pre-reformation English Latin variant).

  16. Paul says:

    I have not seen blue vestments in my parish but didn’t the Holy Father wear a ghastly blue chasuble in Austria just a few months ago, courtesy of the now former Papal MC?

  17. Bailey Walker says:


    God does not bless (either US or YOU) “IN THE NAME OF” the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. God “IS” Father, and Holy Spirit. That’ why the correct (and orthodox) formula is May God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    The former reflects a serious Trinitarian heresy. Words matter.

    Happy Advent.

  18. Michael says:

    St. Thomas Becket wearing Sarum Blue:

  19. Paulinus says:

    Liturgical blue is used legitimately on feasts of the BVM at Downside Abbey. The privilege is a rarity in England, but absolutely licit. Email the Abbot if you don’t believe me.

  20. And wasn’t that how liberals got the filioque into the Western Creed as well?

    See, development often happens in this fashion, and sometimes it is not “liberals” who do it either.

  21. Jim says:

    Well, then, perhaps rainbow stoles are a holdover from the old Gallican rite?

  22. marcus says:

    I might also resent the fact that apparently only “progressive” violations of law could in the past receive Vatican okeydokeys.

    What about the totally illegal and schismatic act of Marcel Lefebvre who usurped to himself the authority to ‘ordain’ bishops and priests. And Rome bending over backwards to accomodate them. It would seem, following your logic of how to bring about ‘Vatican okeydokeys’ is by just going ahead and doing what you want. Good for the girls then who just got ordained in St. Louis they are among the precursors of the inclusive priesthood which is coming.

  23. Brian Day says:

    In regards to the topic at hand, yes, I saw blue vestments this last Sunday (1st Sunday of Advent 2007) at my parish: St. Columban Church, Garden Grove, CA., 9:30AM Mass.
    The celebrant? Bishop Tod D. Brown.

    Right after Mass I went and gave a talk to the RCIA class on Advent. I didn’t enjoy having to talk about the liturgical colors of Advent and have to explain away why Bishop Brown didn’t follow the rules. Thanks, your excellency!
    Rules are for thee, but not for me.

  24. matthew says:

    Yesterday was the very first time I saw blue vestments.
    When the priest processed out, I literally jumped in fright. Post modern horse blanket, indeed!

    I’m dealing with it pretty well though. I normally have to keep my eyes closed during the local N.O. daily mass. One more garish distraction.

  25. Gregg the obscure says:

    Haven’t seen blue for Advent in the Catholic Church, though I had seen them elsewhere in my misinformed youth.

    I have seen several priests in Denver – even those who are generally quite conservative – wear white with blue trim on Marian feasts.

  26. Rob in Maine says:

    I’ll wear my Blue Vestments, this Season.
    What Canon Law says, is not a good reason!

    We’ll have candles of white
    Among those colored blue
    (AH Ah ah ah…)
    Don’t give a darn
    What motu prop’ tells me to do!

    And when those Blue Vestments get ho-oles
    We’ll cut ‘em down and make ‘em into sto-oles.
    You’ll be doing all right, with your Traditional Latin Rite,
    But I’ll have my Blue, Blue Vestments.

  27. Different says:

    Never seen blue vestments at any NO parish around here.

    I have seen white chasubles with blue and gold trim used for marian feasts, they look quite nice.

  28. dcs says:

    God does not bless (either US or YOU) “IN THE NAME OF” the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. God “IS” Father, and Holy Spirit. That’ why the correct (and orthodox) formula is May God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    Not to go down a rabbit hole, but I think the Latin phrase is difficult to translate into English. The Latin is “Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus.” The current translation is awkward and I’m not sure there’s a really good solution in English, where word order matters.

    Gregg the obscure writes:
    I have seen several priests in Denver – even those who are generally quite conservative – wear white with blue trim on Marian feasts.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. White vestments need not be completely white, and vestments can use colors other than liturgical colors when those colors are not the majority color.

    marcus writes:
    What about the totally illegal and schismatic act of Marcel Lefebvre who usurped to himself the authority to ‘ordain’ bishops and priests.

    Since Msgr. Lefebvre was truly a bishop, the bishops he consecrated were truly consecrated, and the priests he ordained were truly ordained. That said, I don’t think Fr. Z. has ever written approvingly of Msgr. Lefebvre’s actions post-1976 (I could be wrong). There’s also a vast difference between what Msgr. Lefebvre believed he was doing (preserving the sacred rites of the Church) and what the ladies who are getting themselves “ordained” believe they are doing. So the analogy is not apt.

  29. richard elmore says:

    Here in our parish (in England) we have blue vestments which are used for Marian feasts and our Bishop (Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton) wore them on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. He was not happy about wearing them though and (since he is extremely liberal) that rather endeared them to me. The priest who commissioned them was very orthodox and traditional, no rebel at all. It might be a mistake to equate blue vestments with rebellion. There are indults about, and precedents. Blue for Advent is another matter, though.

  30. Brian2 says:

    Not to go down a rabbit-hole, but ‘I love Blue Vestments’ post about the extension of certain Spanish privaledges to portions in the Americas that were evangalized by the Spanish gets me wondering… was the Mozarbic rite ever ‘the rite’ in some places when the Church was first being established in North or South America? If so, then would those dioceses have a chance of getting permission to celebrate the Mozarabic rite…?

  31. TerryC says:

    No blue in my parish, father is very stringent when it comes to such things. He does, however, wear a different shade of purple in advent than in Lent. Typically his Lenten vestments are a very dark purple, whereas his Advent vestments are a lighter purple.
    Most of the vestments he uses actually belong to the parish. We have a single rose vestment set and it does not fit him. He is not incline to buy, either personally or with parish money, a set in a liturgical color that can be worn only one day a year.
    How much does a set of vestments typically cost?

  32. Uncle Kermie says:

    To anyone, isn’t the proper color for Advent violet (not purple)?
    That being said, I don’t know the difference between violet
    and purple, but in the interests of being precise, violet is
    the color.

  33. Richard says:

    Funny, whenever I hear an explanation of why blue vestments are used, it always has to do with an explanation that since Advent is not a strictly penitential season, we really shouldn’t confuse people by wearing purple, as opposed to blue, which as we all know really doesn’t have the potential of cunfusing people.

    I have never heard anyone use the explanation that Advent is our Blessed Mother’s season, which represents a more positive explanation, so I really wonder whether this is a motiviating factor for changing to blue besides just wanting to do away with purple.

  34. Stephen M. Collins says:

    I have seen many vestments with beautiful orphries of blue, on cloth of either white or gold. At Our Lady of Walsingham, there is a beautiful set of blue/gold brocade. But this is reserved for Feasts of the B.V.M. where either gold or the finest vestments available are allowed to replace the liturgical white. These were NEVER worn in place of purple/violet during Advent.

  35. RC says:

    Some years back, a suburban parish near Boston was able to save most of its vestments from a church fire, but lost the “Advent blue” ones. When an older priest at the parish announced the fact a few days later, I thought I might have seen him wink.

  36. Tim Ferguson says:


    Most churches which would utilize blue vestments would not have communion rails, which was part of the sarcasm in the song when it was written. It was sort of a \”okay, you want blue, you\’ll get blue, goldarn it!\”

    and Richard – when these lyrics were written – back in the late 80\’s, there were several justifications that were used for blue vestments – blue is a color of hope, blue is less penitential than purple, blue is a color for Mary… In my opinion, the justifications were all simply excuses to bring about change for the sake of change. Frankly, few of the priests and liturgist I knew back then advocating blue vestments had any expressed devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and those who priests who did have a strong devotion to Mary urged the sort of docile and humble acceptance of the traditions of the Church in a spirit of Marian obedience.

    While I can take credit for spearheading the writing, and for coming up with most of the lyrics, this song was written as a group effort of seminarians on our surreptitious way to St. Agnes one Tuesday evening. It was another classmate, Will Pelant, who came up with the delicious syncopation of \”baby, navy, powderpuff and teal\”

    And paleothomist (I have an idea who you are…but am not completely certain…), I would happily provide the lyrics to \”My Bishop Got Run Over by Ratzinger\” if you want to contact me offlist, or send an email via Fr. Z (if I can presume upon his graciousness in forwarding), or I could write them up and send the to Fr. Z for posting, if he so choses.

  37. John Paul says:

    A question for kal: Why remain at a parish such as you describe? By reading
    this blog, you clearly know that it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be that way. Isn’t
    there anything better nearby or within a reasonable drive?

    I guess we shouldn’t be like Protestants and “shop” for our parish according to
    taste, but with the disparity in parishes, I can no longer see suffering through
    painful liturgies.

  38. Marie Antoinnette says:

    We had a blue altar and a missionary priest who told the congregation to stand up during the homily, and dance to the song I lean for the Lord and the Left, on the right, I shout and so on’

    When is the madness going to end!!!

  39. dcs says:

    How much does a set of vestments typically cost?

    Depends on the quality of the workmanship and materials (by the way, old rose can be worn on two days of the year: Gaudete Sunday in Advent and Laetare Sunday in Lent). Another consideration would be whether a full set of vestments for Solemn Mass (i.e., dalmatic, deacon’s stole, tunic, and add’l maniples) is needed, or only a set for Low Mass.

  40. Pam says:

    Isn’t blue allowed in certain countries (like Spain) because there is a tradition of that?

  41. Ray from MN says:


    I attend a Saturday morning “Marian Mass” where the priest wears a white chasuble with a simple blue cruciform design. White is the predominant color by a large margin.

    Would that be considered to be a “white” chasuble?

  42. Pam says:

    Isn’t blue allowed for feasts of the Blessed Virgin in some countries (like Spain)?

  43. Pam says:

    Isn’t blue allowed in some countries (like Spain) for feasts of the Blessed Virgin?

  44. JustDave says:

    I’m not sure how to answer this one. While our priests (so far) have worn purple vestments we have a really large (I mean big) wreath draped in blue with 4 white candles smack dab right in the middle of the Sanctuary between the former high altar (now used for decorations) and the table altar used for Mass.


  45. Maria says:

    “this song was written as a group effort of seminarians on our surreptitious way to St. Agnes one Tuesday evening.” What a delightful (and tragic that it was needed?) use of “surreptitious”.

    I would also be interested in the “My Bishop got Run Over by Ratzinger” song.

  46. I have heard some people link blue vestments to Sarum (medieval English) Advent custom. Most of these sources are based on
    scholarship that may be somewhat out of date, though, and I can’t vouch for their veracity. It is important to note that, if I recall correctly, the colors violet, blue and black were often virtually interchangeable in the Middle Ages due to the
    inconsistency of dyes, the difficulty in getting a ‘pure’ black, and the fact colors tend to fade a bit over time.
    You often see medieval illuminations where blue is used at funerals, which suggests if they were used in Advent,
    they weren’t chosen to symbolize hope!

  47. Mitch S. says:

    The French bishop was excommunicated for consecrating other men as bishop. how is that “bending over backwards”?

  48. Boniface says:

    Can somebody enlighten me…most progressive innovations have an ideological agenda behind them that demonstrates their liberal theology. What is the ideological background to blue vestments? Why choose blue?

  49. Tinlin says:

    I think there is a difference between legitimate and legal use of the colour, and the illicit use of the color.

  50. Blue is indeed an approved liturgical color in Spain for Marian feasts. Many places in Latin America use it for Marian feasts as well, as does the Institute of Christ the King, all with appropriate permission. When I look through mediaeval illuminated manuscripts, I see blue vestments more than almost any other color, so it was obviously widespread in pre-Tridentine times. Frankly, I’d like to see it return in all its vigour. Just not in Advent, or as a substitute for purple.

  51. Tim H says:

    I have to second what Daniel said. Although I also agree with Fr. Z on the lack of general liturgical liceity and the need to not behave as did the “deformers” of the 70’s with communion in the hand, altar girls, etc., there are, unlike these liberal causes, much stronger arguments for the general legalization of Blue for specific Marian feasts (NOT THE ADVENT SEASON!)
    1) The use of blue has a long history in the West prior to Trent.
    2) Indults for blue were issued to Spain, Bavaria, and Austria.
    3) The Spanish indult effectively carried over to all Spanish territories
    4) The Spanish indult now effectively exists anywhere Spanish-speaking people go to Mass. This indicates to me that in future the Church should avoid regional or National indults as they are uncontainable in the age of the internet and mass transportation, immigration. Either approve it for all, or approve it for none.
    5) Blue is ecumenical as it is a common liturgical color of the East.
    6) The use of blue as a praxis has been historically proven not to lead to heterodoxy, unlike the liberal hetero and cacopraxies

  52. Ann says:

    I think at one time the Benedictines had special permission to use blue vestments if the mass was for Mary. Are there any Benedictines who can speak to this?

  53. woodyjones says:

    Blue chasubles, at Our Lady of Walsingham?

    Let me put it this way–during Lent the statues are veiled in purple for the entire Lent, not just Holy Week.

  54. Brian Day says:

    Isn’t the use of blue vestments for Marian feasts a different issue than Fr. Z’s rant against the use of blue vestments for Advent?

    There is a lot of discussion of the use of blue for Marian feasts, but almost nothing on the use during advent. Does this thread need a course correction?

  55. pattif says:

    My understanding was that there was an ancient indult for the wearing of blue vestments in England, in recognition of Our Lady’s Dowry, but that it was binned after the Coun cil. That would explain the existence of mediaeval pictures of blue vestments. Paulinus may well be right, and that the indult was never abrogated (sound familiar?), hence the retention of the tradition in places like Downside and Walsingham.

    On a related point, my pp says that Advent is not a properly penitential season like Lent, so, although we omit the Gloria and use purple vestments, it is permissible to have flowers for weddings and funerals. Is he right? If not, can anyone point me to chapter and verse? (My small act of rebellion is to refuse to water them.)

  56. Dustin says:

    Nice point by Henry Karlson about the filioque. You’ll find plenty of Western scholars, orthodox ones too, still thinking it wasn’t the brightest idea.

    Irrespective of the rubrical concerns, I rather like that blue chasuble in the picture. I’d love to see a season-appropriate vestment as beautiful as that one in my parish. I wouldn’t call ours “ugly,” but they’re certainly not very impressive. This almost looks like it’s velvet.

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf says:
    [B]lue vestments, no matter what anyone says, are still not licit for the Latin Rite.

    I think that His Holiness, based on his Austrian attire back in September, might think differently. I’ve heard so many variant tales about this: that the Austrians wanted baroque vestments but were overruled by Marini; or that the blue vestments were made by the Austrians especially for the papal visit and that even Marini was taken aback by them. In either case, those complaining about them seem to have forgotten that Benedict must have had some say in the matter.

    If it’s a liturgical abuse, then, why is no one here willing to go the distance and justly accuse HH? He’s no victim. He wasn’t physically coerced into donning the blue.

    My point being: does St. Stephen’s in September mean a papal thumbs-up for the blue? If not, let’s have some consistent criticism.

  57. Joshua says:

    “Not to go down a rabbit-hole, but ‘I love Blue Vestments’ post about the extension of certain Spanish privaledges to portions in the Americas that were evangalized by the Spanish gets me wondering… was the Mozarbic rite ever ‘the rite’ in some places when the Church was first being established in North or South America? If so, then would those dioceses have a chance of getting permission to celebrate the Mozarabic rite…?”
    Comment by Brian2

    No, it was certainly not.

    About vestments in the middle ages, that is certainly a rabbit hole. That there are “liturgical colours” in a well defined manner is only later medieval and further, as Fortescue remarks, it was custom on greater feasts to wear the nicer vestments, in spite of their colour. The 1571 Missal established the colours that had become customary in Rome

  58. Scott Smith says:

    Blue Vestments are in use at St. Vincent De Paul in Rogers AR.

    They’ve got an advent theme on them, Mary and Joseph heading to Bethlehem.

    The Dalmatic has an eastern style stole for the deacon. Must say I kinda like it.

    It is a blue that has violet and purple on it.

  59. JimF says:

    Our pastor always wears the proper colors during Advent. And every year on Gaudete Sunday he makes it perfectly clear that his chausible is not pink, it’s rose.

  60. Blue vestments. Rose vestments that are not mandated but permitted on the
    two Sundays mentioned, as well as Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday in the ER. I have
    seen Rose vestments in one church many years ago, really quite beautiful. Now
    for the hideeous and uncanonical pink vestments. As they say: gag a maget!

  61. Michael says:

    From the GIRM:

    “The purpose of a variety in the color of the sacred vestments is to give effective expression even outwardly to the specific character of the mysteries of faith being celebrated and to a sense of Christian life’s passage through the course of the liturgical year” (no. 345).

    “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” (no. 346).

    “Ritual Masses are celebrated in their proper color, in white, or in a festive color; Masses for Various Needs, on the other hand, are celebrated in the color proper to the day or the season or in violet if they are of a penitential character, for example, no. 31 (in Time of War or Conflict), no. 33 (in Time of Famine), or no. 38 (for the Forgiveness of Sins); Votive Masses are celebrated in the color suited to the Mass itself or even in the color proper to the day or the season” (no. 347).

    NO BLUE ANYWHERE! Unless there is an indult, blue cannot even be used on Marian Feasts.

  62. Emily says:

    My parish, thankfully, has never indulged in this, but the parish in the next town over does (and where we occasionally attend Mass). They have blue vestments, blue candles in the Advent wreath…blue everything. But then again, their pastor has used the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to condone the ordination of Women. So what do I expect?

  63. Richard says:

    Sir Mitsui,

    Please provide some source for your information about blue being so widespread before Trent.



  64. mike c says:

    Blue in Advent? Geddoutaheah! The use of blue vestments is limited to Marian feasts under the Spanish indult. A good friend, having been ordained in Wigratzbad, brought his blue vestments to Rome to be blessed in a papal audience. JPII remarked, “Ah the Spanish indult,” when he saw the vestments. My friend was something of a canonical ball-breaker.

  65. Richard says:

    I would like to know why it is that so many who are defending blue vestments here do so out of referring to practice in other places or times, but dismiss what is practice here and now. One could say the Church had it right in other places or in different times, but the sole determining factor in choosing one above another would be one’s own opinion, as the common practice which brought people to use blue else(erst)while [if indeed this is the case] would be the same common practice which has made purple the official color now. In which case I’d ask, how does one know better than the Church now, but would have had the discretion to be in the right with the Church in other times or places? From whence comes such authority?

  66. Recently, I researched and wrote an article on the history of the use of purple and violet in the Roman Rite. It is pertinent to this discussion.

    Find the article at my Blog:

    It is in TWO parts. The first part can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the front page. The second part is on a previous page.

    You might find other things of interest there too :)

    Michael of the Saint Bede Studio

  67. Tom says:

    Blue vestments are only licit in the Latin Rite on Marian Feasts and
    only in lands formerly under Spain. This included California and the
    SW here in the USA

  68. Ann says:

    Are there any OSB liturgical historians in the house?

    I am sure that an Abbot in KY told me in the late 1970’s that blue was approved by rescript/indult for the OSB’s for Mary. I think this was for the whole order, not just his abbey. They might have been an offshoot of Latrobe. This was a fairly traditional abbey in KY. The Abbot was a very kind fellow, African American as I recally. He said that blue was OK for Mary, but he was not referring to Advent. This Abbot seemed like a very obedient type; I don’t think he was bluffing. I think we need an OSB to clear this up.

    You know how OFM’s are permitted to follow a special liturgical calendar for some of their saints who are not in the real ordo? Like, those guys on EWTN sometimes celebrate saints that aren’t in the real ordo. I think the OSB’s were allowed to use blue in the same manner.

    In the same sense that gold is considered a variant of white for high festal days, it always seems that white vestments with a lot of blue trim was used for Mary. The vestments might have been blue-ish, but there was still a lot of white.

    How much of the vestment is trim? How much is the base color? Are we going to measure square inches? What about brocade/tapestry materials that have a LOT of a certain color (purple, green, etc.) but other colors included?

    With regard to Advent VS. Lent, we have two sets of vestments. They are BOTH violet. But the Advent violet is much deeper, and emphasizes the blue part of the spectrum (while being truly violet) and the Lenten violet is redder, and emphsizes that part of the spectrum.

    I don’t think true-blue is a very attractive color . . . but a violet toward the darker shade is nice for advent. A reddish violet works for lent. But both are still truly violet.

    With regard to “pink vs. rose:” You can’t turn pink into rose by simply CALLING it rose. Bazooka bubble gum is PINK, no matter what you call it. Rose can be a beautiful color, but most of the so-called “rose” vestments are pink. Pink, by any other name, is still pink.

  69. Tom: Not now, they’re not. Blue vestments are not at this time part of the Roman Rite. I do not believe those old permissions still apply.

  70. Tim F: I’ll happily post what you send!

  71. marcus: What about the totally illegal and schismatic act of Marcel Lefebvre who usurped to himself the authority to ‘ordain’ bishops and priests. And Rome bending over backwards to accomodate them. It would seem, following your logic of how to bring about ‘Vatican okeydokeys’ is by just going ahead and doing what you want. Good for the girls then who just got ordained in St. Louis they are among the precursors of the inclusive priesthood which is coming.

    B as in B.  S as in S.  

    The Lefevbrite ordinations were valid but illicit.  It was scandalous, but valid with long reaching repercussions: valid orders, means valid Eucharist and the possibility of other ordinations.  The thing the women pretended to do was playacting, both illicit and invalid.  There is no comparion between the two. 

    That is how you apply logic to the situation.


  72. Daniel Matsui: Many places in Latin America use it for Marian feasts as well, as does the Institute of Christ the King, all with appropriate permission.

    I think that needs some current documentation, the kind that is actually in force now. ‘Cause I don’t buy it.

  73. Scott says:

    I would nominate Henry Karlson for the sour grapes award of the day!

  74. Ann says:

    PS: The model in the picture with the blue chasuble could be of some other denomination (Anglican?), so we don’t have to disparage the guy who is doing something ok with his own congregation.

  75. MDL says:

    For one thing, I think there are two blues here. A dark one that could be almost purplish, that was merely a variation of purple and was used in some mediaeval rites. Unless you are licitly using those rites (e.g., Sarum) I do no think there is any justificatio for “blue”, certainly not the bright blue one sometime sees. The other blue is Marian blue, though I do not know where this can now licitly be used. If you want special Marian vestments, one like the whites one with blue orpheys I once saw would seem most appropriate—and licit! My concern about modern “Advent blue” is that it seems to be an attempt to diminish the penential nature of the season. One is told, for instance, that Advent is a time of preparation, not penance. But this makes no sense, as preparation for the Christian in a sinful world involves penance. Nor is there any historical justification for such a distinction. Personally I should very much like to see the penitential aspect of Advent restored, and “Christmas” parties put in the 12 days of Christmas—where they belong.

  76. Christine says:

    Please, Fr. Z, print “My bishop got run over by Ratzinger”.

  77. MDL, may I suggest you read the article I referred to in a previous comment.

  78. Syriacus says:

    Father, let’s have a break with this: :D

  79. Andrew says:

    Interesting how almost everything can become an argument. In the interest of providing some additional refinement to this subject: – see

  80. Fr Ray Blake says:

    Father, I can understand your ranting against the type of vestment illustrated but for the most part the law of the Church is wise in not being over perscriptive about colours.

    What constitutes white? The only pure white vestemnt I own I was given in the 1980s which I have worn once, it is polyester. Most in the sacristy, my sacristan terms yellow or cream. There is one which is very pale blue, another with a pink hue. These are both pre-V2, so presumably passed muster when bishops checked these things.

    Purple or violet is presumably a mixture, any mixture, of red and blue, providing it avoids being soley one of those colours it is acceptable. The only defined colours are for bishop/cardinals cassocks, the liturgy is less constrained.
    The vestment I am wearing this Advent, is essentially purple but I am told from a distance looks more gold and dark red, close up it is just a busy purple/gold fabric.

  81. Melody says:

    Syriacus: That video scarred me for life.

    It would lovely if blue was used as a special color for Marian feast days. Actually, the fact that blue is a color of royalty and Mary makes it inappropriate for penitential days.

    One of the vestments at our parish is a sort bluish lavender that gets liturgically minded people arguing as which color it actually is. Of course, if I had to pick between the violet felt bathrobe variety and a good Roman style vestment that was blue, you know which would have my vote.

  82. Quis says:

    Two questions.

    Violet is a penitential color, right?

    If a priest at Mass on Nov. 2 declares in his homily that it’s “wrong” for him to have to wear a penitential color when we should be “celebrating” the deceased souls, and tears off his violet chasuble and says the rest of the Mass in his white alb, is writing to the bishop about the situation prudent or uncharitable? I haven’t decided what to do, and would just write to the pastor except I’ve written to him before and get the feeling he would find it picky of me to complain.

  83. Lynea says:


    I suspect that the blue vestment craze is due to the ecumenism. It’s not surprising that white is incorporated. Think: Channakah’s blue and white colors. Why do they not simply go ahead and call themselves, “Jews for Jesus”?

    What a joke.

  84. A simple man... says:

    Dear God in heaven, it’s as if I’m overhearing a conversation in the pharisaic Temple. Wearing blue, picking grain on the sabbath, it’s all so evil.

  85. Daniel Muller says:

    The parish I attend does not have any of that nonsense … because they obviously do not spend any money on vestments. All that seems to be left in the closet is that long-lasting polyester that so rarely came in blue in the first place.

    We had a priest (an American from Rome, in fact) help out in ordinal time who always wore a embroidered silk Roman chasuble. It did not match anything, which was in fact a Good Thing. But I suspect that I have not seen him lately because what with the change in season he cannot find a thing to wear to Mass. ;-)

  86. Rudy B says:

    O simple man-

    Indeed it would be so simple:


    Nooooo, we think we’re smarter than not only those old fogeys in Rome; we also think we’re smarter than those who preserved the tradition we received. Chaos is what happens when pride gets in the way.

  87. lynea says:


    I suspect that the blue vestment craze during Advent is due to the ecumenism. It’s not surprising that white is incorporated. Think: Channakah’s blue and white colors. Why do they not simply go ahead and call themselves, “Jews for Jesus”?

    What a joke.

  88. lynea says:

    Simple man:
    It would be pharisaical if the people who were proposing blue vestments were usually just doing it for a fashion statement. However, this is not merely a matter of personal preference to a color, but a theological statement, since the colors of the liturgical vestments actually correspond to the significance of the liturgical time (for example, Advent is a penitential season. Purple is the color that in the traditions of the Church, signifies penance, the first 3 weeks of Advent have purple vestments). What is behind this is modernistic thinking that is not usually on a superficial level, but on a very basic theological level. No purple = no penance. Blue and white during Advent, a time that coincides with Channakah = ecumenism.
    Yes, it is true, the law was made for man, not man to serve the law, but this is precisely why traditions that are in place to serve the members of the Church should be held with regard, and not dismissed or altered on the basis of a novelty, or less even a personal taste.

    What really annoys me is that they mention that this is the time of the Blessed Mother, as if they are really meaning to celebrate her humility by changing traditions that have brought about so much fruit throughout the history of the Church. These are like the same people who took out the crucifixes and replaced them with the Resurrection Cross. If they genuinely cared so much about the Blessed Mother, they would honor and promote her humility and obedience by providing Confession daily.

  89. Father:

    I would like to expand a little on what you said about the truly faithful being smacked down because the not-so totally faithful know they can get away with it.

    I agree.

    I would add, if I may, that one of the reasons that parishes CAN introduce the wackiness is because they KNOW that the Catholics who truly want, need and desire the Eucharist will continue to come. No matter what happens, they will not deprive themselves of the Sacrament.

    It’s the irrational feeling that they are going to lose the faithful if they don’t introduce the lunacy that is often the reason they introduce the garbage in the first place. They fail to realize they won’t lose the truly faithful, they are really just pandering to the lowest common denominator-the weak among us who just want to be entertained.

    We’ve all seen how erroneous that belief has been as some of our “progressive” parishes are closing and losing members anyway.

    Those faithful who did hold on, in spite of all the craziness, are rocks of our Faith. I think of my own parish, which suffered thru 15 years of “innovation”, until our current pastor started turning it around about 7 years ago. There are a lot of older parishioners who stuck it out thru the dark years and are still there today. They, in spite of all that was happening, could not live without the Eucharist and they stayed after many fell away and left. They are the cornerstones of our parish. They bring three things to the table that we all need: perspective, faithfulness and patience.

    One of the commenters above, I believe it was John Paul, questioned why some people don’t just leave and move to another parish. For some people, that is not an option.

  90. Joshua says:

    It seems that three things need to be done:

    1. Obtain an authoritative ruling from the CDW and/or the EDC as to when and where blue vestments may be worn, covering both the extraordinary and ordinary forms of the Roman Rite;

    2. Those who are obedient to the Church and who desire to use blue vestments to honour Our Lady and/or to give a Marian tinge to Advent (without any unorthodox wish to downplay the essentially penitential aspect of any preparation to orient one’s heart to Christ) should apply to the CDW and/or the EDC for the requisite indult;

    3. In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, given the explicit rule in the GIRM, n. 345, that “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” it would be good to make use of this permission (which nonetheless would surely apply only to vestments of permitted colours, else this would permit every idiocy). Bishop Elliott, author of excellent liturgical rubric-books for the modern rite, makes this very point; it is a gracious circling back to medieval customs.

    Imagine the joy of the faithful (and chagrin of the unorthodox) when the priest ascends the altar steps on Christmas Day, wearing a sumptuous black vestment – entirely allowable, and in fact once the practice at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Crusader times (the list of vestment colours used therein being one of the earliest surviving).

    P.S. Another side issue: I have often seen YELLOW vestments made by members of the Vietnamese community; apparently this is common usage back in Vietnam, since the yellow is understood as equivalent to gold, whereas perhaps white is seen (as it is in Chinese culture) as a symbol of mourning.

    Any similar sights? What to make of these? (NB They are usually quite ugly vestments made by well-meaning amateurs; but from all my experiences I find Catholics from Vietnamese backgrounds to be notably pious and orthodox, so don’t think I am attacking their faith).

    And, yes, as many will no doubt mention, in some medieval English uses (York, I think) yellow was worn for feasts of confessors.

  91. Michael C. says:

    Speaking of blue vestements, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is a particular case. Since St. Louis was under the occupation of Spainsh rule at one time in the 1700s and the Spanish at this time had permission to use blue vestments for the feast days of Mary, technically priests of the Archdiocese of St. Louis may still wear blue vestments for the feast days of Mary, although no one does and I wouldn’t suggest that either unless there are golden fleur des lis all over it (then I suppose you could call it a gold vestment).

  92. Tim H says:

    Once again the preceeding posts have proved my main point, the old “indults for kings” have spiraled completely out of control and are mostly unenforced. Blue vestments for Marian feasts are a fact on the ground in Hispanic parishes across the US, and the USCCB is not going to touch this yea or nay with a 10-foot pole. Rome has to create a single uniform policy for the entire world, broad enough for local variation, but free of risible geographic indults.
    And no, blue is not allowed for Marian feasts unless there are Hispanics, Bavarians, or Austrians around, but it should be IMHO.

  93. Richard says:

    Simple man:

    Some clergy wear blue throughout the whole liturgical season of Advent, which represents an outward sign of changing what the whole season is about. Purple represents the need to take added effort and time to prepare our hearts in joyful hope for the coming of Christ at Christmas (though Advent is not strictly “penitential”). This simple catechesis would take but a minute during the Mass of, say, the first Sunday of Advent, and every time people see the color throughout the season of Advent, they are reminded of this need. When priests want to start wearing blue (oh, and using blue altar linens and blue banners as a backdrop for the crucifix, and having blue candles in the Advent wreath) a whole new load of symbolic information is input into the people’s minds, the likes of which they usually don’t know what to make of, as it not only represents an added color, but the explanations for which may run as: “We use blue because we don’t need purple because Advent really isn’t penitential and so we need a new color now whose meaning won’t confuse people like using purple during Advent would. Blue means joyful hope or at least it can since it represents our Blessed Mother and that’s how she expected Christ and so let’s now just say that that’s what blue represents, too, although it hasn’t really before.”

    So, simple man, instead of just sticking to one color which bears the meaning of the need to make an added effort to make room for God in one’s life, the switch in liturgical color is actually what changes the discussion to just one over colors, since instead of keeping to just one color whose meaning is consistently recalled to the churchgoer’s mind – people are left wondering why a new color over the old color when the old color meant one thing, are we now focusing on a different meaning because of a new color?

    Simply sticking to purple would have remained the most effective way to draw the people’s minds to the interior meaning of Advent. The outward, seeming nit-pickiness of the situation is brought into play when people want to start switching up the outward symbols. This draws attention to the choice of one symbol over another, then, and attention is shifted to the symbols themselves instead of delving into the spiritual realities they represent. And, instead of the consistent meaning that purple draws to mind during the season of Advent, people spend Advent wondering why blue over purple now and what is blue all about, anyway? I would like myself and my own to spend Advent in interior recollection, not wondering about why Fr. X spends every other homily trying to reinvent the meaning of Advent when he noticeably makes a real effort to talk about why he’s wearing blue instead of purple and then gets around to a less motivated explanation on Christ and how he’s coming and so forth. That’s why I am really concerned about the hijacking of Advent with a whole new collection of outward colors, symbols, and attempts to redefine it – of which the imposition of blue into the liturgical schemes constitutes a major part. Christ had strong words for those who lead others astray (see Mt. 18:6-7, 23:13-15), it is such folks who are truly acting like the Pharisees.

  94. Karen says:

    FWIW, only blue vestments at our parish are for Marian feasts and the like. Even so, those garments are predominantly white, with blue trim for crosses, etc. I would agree with Fr. Blake about it being wise for the church not to get overly perscriptive. The eastern Catholic rites are much more generous with blue and I\’ve seen some very beautiful blue vestments from those rites. While I\’d agree it\’s not a good Advent color, I think a few people are being overly sniffy about indults and practically demanding to see a personal note from Jesus on the subject re: use of blue for Marian feasts. Just because some parish, in, oh, say, Frostbite FAlls Minnesota goes with Marian blue for a BVM Mass on a Saturday should cause no alarm for reaching for the smelling salts. Certainly the custom of blue for BVM feasts is fairly well establish throughout the US, and I read other places (Spain, etc.) And if memory serves, according to canon law \”customs\” can be said to be established if on going for 20 years.

    I also found it interesting what another said re: yellow and the Vietnamese culture substituting that for gold. Many of us live in areas where there is a totally organic cross pollination of cultures, and I see this as a nice thing about being Catholic in both the \”big C\” and \”lower case c\” meaning. Something like the evolution of blue for Marian feasts is quite organic. It would do well to remember that traditions and customs evolve over time. Even at one time \”purple for penance\” \”green for ordinary time\” was \”novel\” — I wonder if the Fr. Zs of the day would have been shocked by the \”innovations.\” [Those traditions with a small t start somewhere, sometime. I would like to thank him for this post though, partly for his inspiration for a post of my own.]

  95. Recusant says:

    Or as GK Chesterton said: “When orthodoxy is optional, it will sooner or later be proscribed”

  96. It’s interesting that people claim that Advent is not a penitential season. As this web site notes (, while the penitential practices of Advent have fallen by the wayside in the Western Church, the character of the Liturgy has not changed. It’s also worth noting that a large number of parishes schedule communal penance services exactly twice a year: Lent and Advent. There seems to be a consciousness that it is a penitential season.

    The Roman Sacristan has a post on this topic, with lots of good quotes, that discusses the penitential nature of Advent and its history.

  97. Please provide some source for your information about blue being so widespread before Trent.

    Go to the Digital Scriptorium and browse for a while – see for yourself.

    I think that needs some current documentation, the kind that is actually in force now. ‘Cause I don’t buy it.

    Well, I\’ve seen it happen at the Institute of Christ the King, and I\’ve been told it happens by Spaniards and Mexicans and Cubans, none of whom are liturgically ignorant or lax. I\’ll be in Madrid on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – at an ICRSP Mass, probably – and I fully expect to see much blue. I\’m sure they can provide the justifications on paper better than I can, but I consider them trustworthy.

    Regarding some other commentators here, something might be said for not looking at liturgical traditions as something that Roman bureaucrats positivistically create (see 1970 for the results of that mentality), and instead respecting those that have been piously observed in certain places. It seems that a good many Catholics are so paranoid about the scary liberals that they construct an impenetrable rhetorical bulwark against them that blocks out a lot of very beautiful and holy things. I don\’t like liturgical abuse either, but constructing an entire ethos of celebration in reaction against it just becomes pusillanimous.

  98. Harry says:

    “Post-modern horseblanket”

    That was hilarious…and apropos.

    Thank you for that chuckle.


  99. Patricia Gonzalez says:

    That video of Pange Lingua — couldn’t watch it, way too much — just so WRONG!! Yikes!

  100. Daniel Mitsui,

    Well said. Bravo!

  101. Emilio says:

    A quick search in Spanish Church websites didn’t find much information on liturgical blue. The trendier-than-thou Archdiocese of Leon’s website lists blue as being formerly used in the last century.

    However, the current liturgical calendar still has blue as well as white for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, not for other Marian feasts.

  102. Emilio: This is the bishop I cut to shreds at the conference the other day? Archbishop of Leon, H.E. Julian Lopez Martin?

  103. Don Schloeder says:


    The behavior you describe is appalling. All Souls Day is not a day to \”celebrate\” the souls that have gone before us. It sounds like he is confusing with the day before when we celebrate the saints who have earned their reward. Nov 2 is a day to be praying for the release of the tormented souls in purgatory. How do you address it? Personally, I\’d be tempted to nail a treatise to the church door.

  104. Emilio says:

    Fr Z: Yes, and I\’m afraid it was your comments which led to the rather uncharitable \”trendier-than-thou\” label for his see. :-)

  105. Malta says:

    btw: Fr., Z

    Frankly, if I was an out-of-state visitor and saw a priest come dancing into the Church wearing the get-up you posted above, I would grab the hands of my four kids and leave immediately.

    It looks like you got that photo from a catalogue. That’s sad, really, really sad. Now, if I was in England to witness a Sarum rite of mass in the 14th century, I might expect to see blue. But too many priests wear colorful and strange vestments to express their personalities: there should only be one personality expressed at Mass: Christ’s. Vestments should only direct us to Christ, and not be fashion statements of the man wearing them.

  106. Richard says:

    Sir Mitsui,

    I surfed around the Digital Scriptorium and saw a couple of images. Could you provide a specific link, please?



  107. Seumas says:

    If you’re going to write a parody, could you please use some pop song (like the “My Bishop got ran over by Ratzinger” one does), and leave the traditional religious hymns alone?

    “O Come, Emmanuel” is one of the most beautiful of hymns, in words and in melody. Singing it raises my heart and mind to God, and puts me in the true spirit of Advent. Do you think that every time I sing it this Advent, I want to think of blue vestments?

    Besides ruining the song for some of us, I think certain things simply deserve respect, especially religious things. This is not exactly a sin, but it is, IMO, nevertheless disrespectful to use a traditional Christian hymn, which is essentially a prayer, for irreverent purposes.

    Ok, I’ve said my piece. I’m ready for people to tell me I have no sense of humor, I’m overreacting, etc. In actuality, I make up song parodies myself all the time. It’s just that since I’ve become Catholic, I’ve steered clear of religious songs, and my lyrics have become *much* cleaner…

    Every time I hear a hymn sung to the tune of Beethoven’s “Hymn to Joy” I *still* think of that stupid Starz commercial years back. “Movies, movies, movies, movies, movies movies moooovies…” Arrrrgh!

  108. Dustin says:

    Seumas, allow me:

    Get a sense of humor. You’re overreacting.

  109. Vincent says:

    I can confirm that a beautiful and dignified blue gothic set was used yesterday for the Immaculate Conception at the Royal English College, Valladolid, Spain.

  110. frcd says:


    I have been ordained for three years, and did not know that blue was NOT an option for Advent.

    “That I wore blue last week” was pointed out to me this morning by a faithful parishioner disappointed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass he had just attended (which I didn’t celebrate.)

    So thank you for the clarification. It is purple from now on…


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