BRING BACK OUR BLACK! – Franciscan University in Steubenville

We need a revival of black vestments for funeral Masses and requiem Masses for the deceased and poor souls!


A kind reader sent the following.

We all know how much you love black, as do we…  This morning at Franciscan University, a priest of Steubenville celebrated a Requiem Mass, TLM-Black style… Here are some photos… and a video of Father’s Domine Non Sum Dignus. [The video is not posted here.]

Maybe your readers would like to share our happiness…  I know that some other communities have beautiful Churches and Oratories, and vestments and vessels… But we’re working on it. :)

The Photos


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    What about bringing back skulls, crossbones and/or skeletons on the vestments? Is it banned or still banned?

  2. Anon says:

    This Monday at 10:00 there will be an Extraordinary Form funeral at St Teresa of Avila Church, Summit, New jersey in the Archdiocese of Newark, for the repose of the soul of Maj. Michael O’Mahoney.
    Black vestments and a black pall will be used.
    I do not know if it will be a low Mass or a sung Mass.

  3. Paulinus says:

    Some hippy priest ditched the parish’s black vestments in the 1970s. This year we got togethr some money and bought a nice black Roman set which has been used at Requiems and for the first time in years on All Souls Day. What really gets me is that these vestments were bought with the pennies of the Glaswegian poor. They were held in trust for future generations. Who the heck was the previous incumbent to ditch them and where did they go?

  4. ignorant redneck says:

    We had black at our parish for All Souls. Not only that, but it was in the ordinary form!

  5. Nicknackpaddywack says:

    What a hideous sanctuary!

  6. Emily Ann says:

    A kind reader sent the following
    “Maybe your readers would like to share our happiness… ”

    Maybe the persons who post comments could try to be so kind.

  7. Miseno says:

    I can’t believe it. To see black vestments in CKC is something else. Thanks for these pictures. Steubenville has changed much in 4 years.

  8. Brian J says:

    As an alumnus of Franciscan University, I can only say that it is a great pleasure to see the TLM coming to the University. There was some discord in the beginning after the release of the SP, but now there has grown great support around campus. I am glad to see that the full expression TLM liturgy is following as well.

    And, yes, the sanctuary is not the greatest, but it is something we are hoping will be remedied sooner than later. Thanks for harping on that, rather than the positives of the story.

  9. MPod says:

    “What a hideous sanctuary!”

    Absolutely, but hopefully the beauty of these rites will bring about the changes that are needed. Beauty begets beauty. I am encouraged!

  10. MPod says:

    Not that I was trying to sound negative, of course. I would imagine the rites made the very plain sanctuary just a bit more beautiful at the time. And, nicknack, the original contributor said this is something they were working on. Be encouraged!

  11. Thom says:

    If you could see the chapel in its entirety, you might be less likely to describe the Sanctuary as “hideous.”

    A few minor things should be changed, of course, but all in all it’s a nice chapel.

  12. Dan says:


    I wonder if you’ve ever heard of such a vestment: at my parish in Las Vegas, on the feast of the cathedral of St. John Lateran, the priest wore a white vestment but the traditional gothic three-pronged adornment was black because he was still in the novena for all souls.

  13. David Billington says:

    Undoubtedly the sanctuaries will once again be beautified but but ….
    is that the corner of an altar rail I see or am I dreaming again :-)

  14. Dan: white vestment but the traditional gothic three-pronged adornment was black because he was still in the novena for all souls

    Yes, I have seen and heard about that, but I don’t like it.

    Use black.

  15. I was at Franciscan University for last weekend. I was slightly appalled by the first mass I attended, but I chocked that up to college students. It was amazing to see the change from the OF mass to the EF mass. The altar was moved back and placed on a platform, the microphones and chairs for the quartet were removed from next to the altar, and magically an altar rail had appeared.

    Three of our 6 party members attended the high mass (for one it was his first EF mass). He was extremely impressed. The other person regularly attends a parish that offers the EF mass once a month, so she translated certain parts for him.

    All in all I was greatly impressed with the transformation of the chapel. I’m sure that it takes much work to change and then revert the chapel once a week. It must be difficult sometimes to put the chapel back into a more contemporary arrangement.

  16. Kevin A. says:

    Glad to see this from my alma mater. They’ve made so much progress in just the last year! If I were still going there, I’d probably be going to Mass there instead of St. Peter’s (which is a beautiful parish in Steubenville)now that they’re doing this.

  17. Tyler says:


    as a server for the EF Masses, I can tell you that it takes us about an hour to set the sanctuary up, and another hour to put it all back. It is a lot of work, but the Mass in between makes it worth it

  18. mao now says:

    I wonder also, about skulls and crossbones on vestments and palls. Are they banned? or merely fallen into disuse? Any pictures? The liturgy should impose upon us the fear of death, Whos true name is ….fear of the Lord.

  19. Our priest has acquired black vestments from a church in NJ that was merging with another one, and used them on all soul’s day (ordinary form). I was delighted to see them!

  20. It would be wonderful if FUS would make some of the changes detailed above to Christ the King Chapel more permanent.

    Glad to see that the Gregorian Rite is making headway at the school!

    Fr. Deacon Daniel

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