Show us your BLACK vestments!

This is from a priest reader:

Attached is a photo of me offering an English Novus Ordo Missae at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Peoria, AZ at 10:00 a.m. today. We are a "Reform of the Reform/Summorum Pontificum Parish" where all Masses–8 Forma Ordinaria, and 5 Forma Extraordinaria–are celebrated weekly.  Thanks be to God! You have many loyal readers from our parish. Blessings to you and your readership in all you do in Restoring the Sacred to our liturgies.

Your Servant, Fr LWG

Here is another.  This seems heavily inculturated, but hey!  It’s black!

Cincinnati vocations director Father Kyle Schnippel broke out his Sunday best for the 8:30 Mass at the Cathedral this morning:

Since the lady on the right edge of the picture is Mrs. Leonardi, you can guess who the photographer was. (For a glimpse of Padre with Clan Leonardi click here.) After Mass, we grabbed breakfast at the local Big Boy along with friend Jackie and her son. It was a great start to a beautiful day.

Another reader sends:

I am sending a picture of my NO parish priest, Father Christopher Smith in Palmyra Missouri. He wore black today! My pictures weren’t very good, since he is not one to want his picture taken I had to get them during Mass. I am sending you the best one.

He is a wonderful priest & I will still go to Mass in Palmyra, even after the Shrine of St Rose opens in Quincy next week.

Father shouldn’t be so shy.  He did a wonderful thing!

And now a brief interlude for a WHITE vestment moment for 1 November, All Saints:

First Tridentine Mass in 43 years in the UPPER Church of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston.
Fr Agustin Anda, Celebrant
Gregorian Chant and Polyphony
November 1, 2008, 7:30 pm

and on November 3, 2008, also at 7:30 pm at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, again in the UPPER Church, Fr Agustin Anda, Celebrant first Tridentine Requiem in 43 years Chant High Requiem

And from another reader, this very welcome image:

Here is Fr.Tcheou of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at the cemetery praying for the deceased on All Souls Day. This is the Catholic cemetery where the bishops and priests of the diocese are buried. Father is seen here sprinkling the graves.


Here is a great shot from a priest reader:

Father Z,
Father Gerald P. Carey, the pastor of St. Paul Parish in Philadelphia, was celebrating the Ordinary Form of the Mass in Latin, a first here at St. Paul.  The church was quite full and there were many younger people who had never experienced this Mass in Latin before.  Father Carey is hoping to celebrate a Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the feast of St. Paul on January 25th.


A very good photo.    BLACK TO THE PEOPLE!

More… here is one from a reader:


Here is a picture from the All Soul’s Requiem Mass in Seattle, WA Parish of the North American Martyrs. The celebrant is Father Gerard Saguto, FSSP.


 Here are pictures from tonight’s Requiem High Mass for All Souls Day at St. Lawrence Chapel in Harrisburg, PA.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The black looks great, Fathers!

    Once question, I am watching the EF on EWTN and the presiding presbyter (Institute of Christ the King) de-vested for the homily and re-vested after. Is this normal for the EF or is a special “ceremony” for Requiem Masses?

  2. Dr. Eric says:

    That should have been “one question.”

  3. These photos are of Fr. Paul Weinberger, St. William the Confessor Catholic Parish in Greenville, Texas.

  4. Kradcliffe says:

    I remember Fr. Lawrence at Old Saint Mary’s in Cincinnati wearing the most stunning antique black vestments for this Mass. He said it was very much an Old Saint Mary’s heirloom. Wish I had a photo to share!

  5. Adam says:

    It would be nice to see more black vestments, although I’m not totally opposed to violet, especially in light of the fact our Archbishop wore white on All Souls, yesterday.

  6. The text surrounding the Fr. Schnippel picture is from an entry on my site, in case you’re wondering who this “Mrs. Leonardi” is.

  7. Bro. AJK says:

    Dear Fr. Z.,

    I have been told that a parish near St. Louis also used black. The parishioner was taken by surprise and thought something was wrong.

  8. a. seminarian says:

    Black Vestments were used at the college chapel here at a large ArchAbbey. A very pleasant surprise.

    Hi Father Tcheou!

  9. James says:

    Wonderful photo of Fr. Tcheou.

    Our local chapter (Harvard Univ.) of the Knights of Columbus trekked to a very forlorn and rundown old Catholic cemetery and prayed Matins, chanting the Dies Irae as best we could.

  10. Henry says:

    Dr. Eric: Is this normal for the EF or is a special “ceremony” for Requiem Masses?

    It’s neither entirely normal — in recent years I’ve seen it only at ICK-celebrated Masses — nor special for requiem Masses.

    This once more common practice stemmed from the fact that, in the traditional Mass, the sermon was generally not considered a part of the Mass, but an interruption to it. The priest therefore removed his “garments of sacrifice” to deliver the sermon, then donned them again to continue the sacrifice.

  11. dymphna says:

    Bless Fr. Schnippel’s kind heart. He not only wore those
    vestments, he actually looks happy about it.

  12. Father Bartoloma says:

    Ad Multos Annos to my friend, Fr. Tcheou!

  13. Thomas says:

    Damn! I wish I knew about the Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. And I just bought a new Roman Missal (1962), too. Could have busted it out in style.

  14. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    Kudos and Many Years to Fr. Schnippel! I, too, am from the Cincinnati Archdiocese, and my hat is off to Father for having the courage to wear these vestments in our diocese, which is rife with political correctness. Well, done, Father, and no mistake!

  15. The Institute OF CHRIST THE KING, seems to be the real thing. Nothing staged, the way they move around the altar is natural not stiff and self-conscious, they really belive. You can not lie to the camera. I have not used the word Edified for a long time but the EWTN Mass today was just that, edifing.

  16. Joamy says:

    We had a wonderful Requim mass. Wish I could have got pictures… . Black vestements and the “Dies Irae.” (Sorry if that is not spelled correctly.) I think our priests do a really wonderful job – the put a lot of work into making sure everything is correct.

  17. Jim says:

    Here in Seattle, with our new FSSP parish, the priest, Father Saguto, wore black for the All Souls Mass tonite.

  18. These are great. I have never, EVER seen black vestments, ever. I hope one of these days soon, somebody goes rummaging through wherever the old treasures like these have been stashed away in our cathedral parish. I bet there are some black vestments waiting to be rediscovered.

    I didn’t know you could wear a biretta during Mass. (Another thing I’ve never seen.)

  19. California Girl says:

    Here at St. Margaret (Queen of Scotland) parish in Oceanside, CA, our pastor wore black robes with a purple satin lining. The retired visiting priest who concelebrated wore the violet robes that are usually seen during Lent.

    And our cantor chanted the Dies Irae (unaccompanied) before the Gospel. (I had never heard it before–didn\’t realize that it\’s 6 minutes long!)

    (For more on St. Margaret\’s, see ).

    California Girl

  20. Charivari Rob says:

    The Harrisburg photo – is that actually from a funeral or does the observance include a symbolic casket?

  21. Joe Rizzo says:

    What a great experience to read comments and see photos of what it was and what it should be.

    My brother, Fr. John Rizzo, FSSP, was recently visiting Boston and celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Needless to say, it was well attended and the new rector here, Fr. Kevin O’Leary, is very obliging and welcomes us with open arms. In fact, Fr. O’Leary is learning the Latin Mass in the Tridentine formula.

    Last night, Monday, November 3rd, I was honored to serve as MC for a solemn Hight Requirem Mass in the upper church. How majestic and ever so beautiful. Fr. Anda did a great job and photos will soon follow.

    The chant, especially the “Dies Irae” brought tears to my eyes.

    God be with us all!!

    Joe Rizzo

  22. LeeB says:

    Ha, you think you’ve got it good? Here at St. Odilo Parish in Berwyn, IL, our fine pastor, Fr. Brankin, is having three evenings in a row of Solemn High Requiem Masses with black vestments, black ornaments, black candles, lots of smoke….all the right stuff. It paints a stunning picture.

  23. Mary says:

    We had black on Sunday (NO) at my parish, I would bet for the first time since…well, since some pastor decided to stop. Our new pastor (as of July) is stellar and any change he makes he EXPLAINS so no one has complained yet!

  24. aalex1 says:

    This past week I spent several days in Boston and had the great joy of attending the TLM on Sunday, October 25th. Unfortunately, the Mass was celebrated in the fairly worn and unattractive lower part of the Church of the Holy Cross. I am now relieved to read that Boston celebrated the TLM in the upper church after 43 years. Boston’s Holy Cross Church is a treasure and a perfect site for expanding the TLM in the eastern part of the country. Thank you Cardinal O’Malley.

  25. Anna Del Vecchio says:

    I attended the

  26. Kathleen says:

    If you want to thank anyone thank Fr. O’Leary the rector who gave us permission to use the Upper Church. Or thank the small band of us who have worked tirelessly every week to set up for the Mass and have to take it down after Mass, schedules the priests, make the programs, Schola Amicorum and their director Dr.John Salisbury (who makes the programs, provides the robes and all music materials at his own expence), Roland Horst, Joe Rizzo who brings levity to any crisis, George Krim and Bob Hill organists and Ed Long who provides coffee and donuts after Mass. Let’s not forget all the great priests who say Mass for us every week in less then ideal circumstances.
    Cardinal O’Malley has never come down once to the basement to be even welcome us after closing Holy Trinity.

  27. Kathleen says:

    Sorry Joe here are the pictures I took the other night. I sent them to Fr.Z last night.

    Fr. O’Leary has really been wonderful to us but he knows the Lower Church is pretty moldy and I do mean moldy. He is trying to raise money to renovate the Lower Church as Traditional Latin Mass Chapel.

    We only get the Main Church only Holy Days and only if it doesn’t interfere with anything else going on.

  28. Charivari Rob says:


    I think you may need to talk to the folks at Flickr. The photos are beautiful, but Father is der eht gniod and kcalb eht gniyas! The slide show is running backwards.


    Glad you liked our Cathedral. Certainly, all those who put in all the work to prepare the Cathedral for each Mass deserve a lot of credit, as Kathleen said. To whatever degree the Cathedral might be a treasure (to the eyes), we’re fortunate. The first time I was in it, about eight or nine years ago or so, that place was a wreck!

  29. Kimberlee says:

    Rob,Regarding the Harrisburg photo – it is a catafalque or mock casket. At the end of Mass Father put on his black cope and stood at the head of the catafalque for the Commendation, sprinkling and censing it as well.

  30. Charivari Rob says:

    Thank you, Kimberlee.


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