QUAERITUR: Rose vestments during the week after Gaudete Sunday?

Rosacea vestments during the week after the 3rd Sunday of Advent?

I reader sent me this:

In re: Rosacea, today I came across this interesting instruction, found in "Matters Liturgical" 9th edition (1956):
119. b. Rose-color vestments may also be worn, if the ferial Office is said on the Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday following the 3rd Sunday of Advent (S.R.C.: Nov. 7, 1935; see The Priest: April of 1952).
So Rose on Thursday it may be.  After all, I read it in a book.


This obviously applied to the TLM.

Anything more to be said about this?

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  1. Ken says:

    That doesn’t seem right. The ferial Mass is a second class feast, not the first class Sunday Mass. The Alleluia, for instance, is not said during the week — only on the Third Sunday of Advent. The Credo is not said. The common preface is used.

    I would argue the book is incorrect, and no organ, flowers or rose vetments are permitted on any day except Sunday 12/14 for the first class feast.

  2. John says:

    I have heard of this before — over 40 years ago. I remember reading it in the library of my alma mater. My recollection was that the authorization to use rose during Gaudete and Latare weeks came from the John XXIII era. Apparently that part of my recollection is wrong.

    Consulting the St. Andrew Missal — Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of Gaudete week were ember days — hence violet vestments on those days. Apparently there were no ember days in Laetare week — evidently Lent took precedence.

    (Of course, I was goofing off when I read this — I should have been reading stuff related to my major — political science. On the other hand — my lifetime career was spend outside of the political world. How could I have ever known that this factoid would ever come up again in my life.)

    To me it makes sense to use rose when the Masses of Gaudete and Lataere are read, and thus ten days per year instead of just two. I hope that priests use this option, both in the EF and the OF.

  3. Paul Goings says:

    This would not, however, occur in Laetare week, since the feriae of Lent have their own proper Masses.

  4. Fr Fenton says:

    As I read General Rubric 131:
    Paramenta coloris rosacei adhiberi possunt, Dominica III Adventus et Dominica IV Quadragesimae, sed in Officio et Missa diei dominici tantum.

    Vestments of the color rose may be used on the 3rd Sunday of Advent and on the 4th Sunday of Lent, but in the Office and Mass of the day on Sunday only.

    This is how I had always understood it any, but that seems to be what the Missal allows.

    Am I mistranslating the last part, Father?

  5. Cerimoniere says:

    Rose certainly was permitted on the weekdays prior to 1960, but I read the 1960 rubric as withdrawing this permission.

    As the quotation in Father’s original post shows, SRC had made clear that rose could be used on ferias during the week following Gaudete that did not have their own proper Masses. As paraphrased in “Matters Liturgical”, it seems that this extended to the Divine Office celebrated on those days also. In other words, rose was the proper colour of those days, as well as the colour of the Sunday.

    The 1960 rubric (N.R. 131) says that rose may be used on Gaudete and Laetare Sundays, “sed in Officio et Missa diei dominici tantum” (“but in the Office and Mass of the Sunday only”). Is the Sunday Mass repeated on Monday still the Sunday Mass? The texts of the proper Mass of the Monday come from the Sunday Mass, but there are differences (as pointed out above). Further, the Office of the Monday is a ferial Advent office, but it definitely isn’t the Office of Gaudete Sunday.

    On the whole, I think the “tantum” is supposed to mean “only on the Sunday itself”, but it could be better expressed. Otherwise, you end up with the silly result of violet copes at the Office on those days, and rose vestments at Mass, as though the repeated Sunday Mass were a Votive, rather than proper to the day. That wouldn’t have been the case prior to 1960, as the rule then apparently extended to the Office as well as the Mass. So, it seems to me that the 1960 rubric is intended to restrict the use of rose only to the Sunday itself.

  6. Caeremoniarius says:

    Fr Fenton and Cerimoniere read the rubric absolutely correctly–on the Sunday
    only, both for Mass and Office. (It is amusing to note that Cardinals had
    formerly worn rose-colored choir dress during Gaudete and Laetare weeks; but
    by 1943 this practice had stopped.)

  7. Geoffrey says:

    What about in the Ordinary Form?

  8. Roland de Chanson says:

    I’m not sure it clarifies the point but rubric 128 (starting the section dealing with violet) states:

    128. Color violaceus adhibetur in Officio et Missa de Tempore:
    a) a dominica I Adventus usque ad vigiliam Nativitatis Domini inclusive;
    (violet is worn in the Office and Mass of the season from the first Sunday in Advent through Christmas eve inclusive.)

    129 and 130 deal with votive masses and other occasions when violet is required; 131 is the rose option cited by Fr. Fenton.

  9. Roland de Chanson says:

    (pars ultima commentarii mei deleta est! Difficile scriptu in comboxibus est. aaarrrggghhh)

    Essentially it was – the Latin of rubric 131 seems unambiguous to me – rose may be worn only for Sunday Office and Mass. But then again, I am no liturgist

  10. Cerimoniere says:

    Let me be the first to admit when I’ve been out-geeked. I don’t think I’d ever heard of the rose-coloured choir dress. I knew that the Cardinals wore violet rather than red in pentitential seasons, but not this!

    Surely not for Laetare week, though, for the reason Mr Goings noted above?

  11. Michael Fudge says:

    In Costume of Prelates of the Catholic Church, According to Roman Etiquette

    page 45: \”The choir cassock of the Cardinals is scarlet red at ordinary times; purple in penitential seasons, and on occasions of mourning, like the vacancy of the Holy See or when they attend a funeral; and rose-colored on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete)and the fourth Sunday of Lent (Lcetare).\”

    Page 45-6: \”The rose-colored cassock is always of watered silk, though both Sundays on which it is worn usually occur during the liturgical winter\”

    Page 74: \”The color of a Cardinal s mozzetta always matches that of his church cassock, that is, scarlet at ordinary times; purple, lined and trimmed in red, on penitential days and at funeral ceremonies, and rose colored on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete)and the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare).\”

    Page 82: \”A Cardinal s mantellettas, like all the other parts of his choir dress, are of three different colors,scarlet, purple with red trimmings, and rose-colored,thus matching the colors of his cassocks. The red and purple mantellettas are of cloth in winter and of watered silk in summer. The rose-colored mantelletta, as well as the cassock of that color, is reserved for the Sundays of Gaudete and Laetare, and should be of watered silk.\”

    Page 95: \”On the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete) and on the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare), when Cardinals wear a church-dress of rose colored silk, they wear the purple cappa magna.\”

  12. Gaudete Sunday allows an ever so brief moment of liturgical joy. While it is true that permission did exist pre-1960 for rose vestments on the Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of Gaudete Week, it seems better to restrict the color to the Sunday Mass and Office (and indeed the 1960 Codex Rubricarum is specific on this point). Note, too, that pre-1960 you also had considerations like the octave of the Immaculate Conception and, still after 1960, St. Eusebius in red that often fall during the third week of Advent.

  13. Fr Fenton says:

    In answer to the question of the Ordinary Form, there are are proper Masses for the weekdays of Advent. There is no occasion of repeating the Sunday Mass during the week.

  14. William Young says:

    I have often wondered whether rose vestments ought also to be allowed instead of violet/purple for use at the funerals of unbaptised children below the age of reason.

  15. Hieromonk Gregory says:

    I know for a fact that in the seminary in the late 1950’S, Rose vestments were worn on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; but not on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday since they were Ember days. Perhaps that custom went out of existence in the 60’s>

  16. Prof. Basto says:

    Since January 1st, 1961, the rubrics of the Roman Missal restrict the use of rosacea to Gaudete and Laetare Sundays only.

    The 1960 Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio “Rubricarum Instructum” , issued by bl. Pope John XXIII, in approving the new body of rubrics for the Roman Missal — which body of rubrics entered into force on January 1st, 1961 — explicitly reppealed all the “statues, priveleges, indults, and customs of any kind whatsoever, including those that are centenary and immemorial, even if they are worthy of special and individual mention” that were opposed to the new rubrics (cf. Rubricarum instructum, art. 3).

  17. Cerimoniere says:

    Hieromonk Gregory: It seems rather that the rubrics were changed to preclude this, not that a custom ceased to be followed.

    Prof. Basto: It would appear that the use of rose on weekdays after Gaudete was not so much an indult or custom, but rather depended for its authority on a clarification by the Congregation of Rites, that what applied to the Sunday applied also to those days when the Sunday propers were repeated during the week. Obviously, if the rubric itself changed, as I believe it did, then the response of SCR would no longer be applicable.

    William Young: did you mean the funeral of UNbaptized infants? I didn’t know there was any such thing. The funerals of baptized infants take place in white, not violet, with the Votive Mass of the Holy Angels. Is there indeed also a rite for unbaptized infants?

  18. Joshua says:

    Yes, there is a Mass for unbaptised infants. It is focused on those mourning though

    Because of the mystery involved, the celebration of funeral rites for an unbaptized child usually requires the permission of the local bishop who considers the pastoral circumstances involved (see Canon 1183.2 of the Code of Canon Law).

    These rites are usually done more for the sake of the living than for the dead. And this would be the principal factor to be considered in deciding to permit obsequies, especially when the parents clearly intended to baptize the child.

    It is also a factor in deciding whether Mass or another simpler rite would be more appropriate.

    It is also recommended that catechesis imparted on such occasions in no way confuse the faithful regarding the doctrine of the necessity of baptism.

    The Mass formulas do not generally intercede for the salvation of the child but rather implore that God may comfort the grieving parents with the hope of his mercy, acceptance of his will and the consolation of knowing that he takes care of us.


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