Fr. Z POLL: All Souls vestment color

What color vestments did you see today in church if you went for Mass?



BTW… do you remember the POLL I posted entitled: "When the time comes, what color vestments would you prefer for your own funeral?"

The results were….

        * Black
          2520  85% of all votes
        * Purple
          231  8% of all votes
        * White
          213  7% of all votes

    Total Votes: 2964 Started: 30 August 2009 – ENDED 8 Sept

Let us know about your experience of Holy Mass.

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  1. JennyZ says:

    The parish we went to this weekend had white vestments.

    But, he did use incense…

    BUT, there was a lady dressed (and acting as) a deacon, assisting with the Novus Ordo. It was confusing, and made me pretty upset.

    Being pregnant, the incense started to make me light headed and nauseous (as did the lady assisting), so I had to step outside till Mass was over… *sigh* I really wish Dallas had some more traditional parishes. St Thomas Aquinas is the best I’ve found, but it’s not close enough, and traffic in the morning is killer.

  2. Rose in NE says:

    I’d be interested to know out of the masses where black vestments were worn, was it a TLM or NO mass?

    The vestments were white at the NO parish where I work. However,I attended the TLM at my own parish and black vestments were worn. ( I voted black, btw.

  3. cuaguy says:

    I had violet for both of my Masses today. I would rather have had black, but the powers that be set out violet…

  4. JosephMary says:

    Visiting FSSP priest, two low Masses, back to back, and he will offer his third Mass of the day when he returns to his home parish.

    I had never experienced this before nor the Latin Mass for the dead.

  5. Sieber says:

    Alb & stole only. Priest joked about the old days in Ireland when you said 6 Our Fathers, 6 Hail Marys & 6 Glory be’s (n.b.666). You got a soul out of heaven as many times as you repeated the formula….provided you went in & our of church each time (to general laughter),he then said he won the class contest by personally getting 257 souls out of purgatory & into heaven (to raucous laughter. Then he said of course we don’t believe that anymore. No word today or yesterday about indulgences. USCCB Bulletin also unmentioned.

  6. zapman says:

    While we had white vestments, we did have a great teaching moment during the homily today. The priest asked the people “Who believes that you need faith in Jesus and to be in his goodness to get into heaven?” Everyone, thankfully, raises their hands. He then went on to ask: “So, lets say a big disaster hits the church right now and we all die. Who believes we’ll all go straight to heaven?” Unfortunately a vast majority of people raised their hands, and the priest then followed it up with “Well, I don’t,” and began to teach about purgatory. :-)

  7. marthawrites says:

    In his homily our pastor gave equal weight to the suffering souls in Purgatory and the suffering survivors on earth, especially those who have a relative or friend who died during the past year. I think this is misplaced on today of all days.

  8. pberginjr says:

    I went to the Extraordinary Form in Downtown Columbus, OH (Holy Family). Low Mass, black vestments, two servers (one about 20, the other 10). The priest gave a great homily on two topics: the lack of blessed water for the commixture (since a soul after leaving the body can’t be blessed by a priest), and the “Dies Irae” interpreted as a defense case for your final judgment before God (God your so merciful, you’ve forgiven those before me, please forgive me). I was almost crying at the end. He introduced the Dies Irae portion by casually mentioning (I’m telling you all this because others wouldn’t understand) that he almost hit another car in the parish parking lot the other day, his plates are “DIES IRAE” the other car’s “DIES ILLA”. God has a good sense of humor.

  9. We had black vestments for the NO Mass this morning, and for the EF Mass this evening – but then, at Blackfen, I wouldn’t expect anything less!!

  10. James Locke says:

    Well I am about to go to mass and sing a requiem for it here in dallas. JennyZ, come down to Cistercian on sundays at 9 am for a perfectly orthodox NO mass and every first friday at 730pm when the University choir sings for that mass. Anyways, I will let you all know what the vestments were like soon.

  11. tjtenor2 says:

    The priests at our NO Mass this morning wore violet — better than white, I suppose, but still not ideal. There was also nary a mention of Purgatory anywhere in the homily (or the rest of the Mass for that matter).

  12. jimsantafe says:

    The celebrant wore black – of course I did too – was sub-deacon at FSSP in Urbe…

  13. Random Friar says:

    Where I celebrated today had no black, so purple it was.

  14. esquiress says:

    Black at the cathedral in our diocese (Manchester).

  15. William Riley says:

    Extraordinary Form at Holy Rosary in Indianapolis at 9:00 a.m. Black vestments. One of my favorite days of the whole liturgical year.

  16. Henry Edwards says:

    Novus Ordo. Black Roman (fiddleback) chasuble and matching chalice veil and burse. Incense and bells. Latin absolution and blessing, Greek Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei sung in Latin, Roman Canon in English except Institution, Consecration and Per Ipsum in Latin, Mass mostly sung by celebrant except for canon, no EMHC’s (chalice administered by deacon in purple dalmatic). Brief but strong sermon on purgatory and (especially) indulgences for the poor souls( Very positive comments heard afterward; after all, OF doesn’t get much better.

  17. William Riley says:

    I almost forgot, the catafalque and unbleached candles were used.

  18. Emilio III says:

    We had white vestments, but the pastor started his homily by saying that when the time came for his funeral he didn’t want anybody saying what a nice man he was, but to please pray for his soul.

  19. Jack Hughes says:

    First time serving the Extrodinary form, black vestments and a wonderful homily, all in all excellent Mass

  20. Agnes of Prague says:

    I went to two Masses, Novus Ordo Mass at one of the Catholic cemeteries here, and FSSP low Mass. The NOM Priest was wearing a white chasuble and there was a concelebrant in alb & stole. The sermon seemed to imply we’d all go to heaven. At Low Mass, violet chasuble, no sermon.

    James Locke, see you at Cistercian!

  21. gloriainexcelsis says:

    For those who didn’t see my comment in the blog you had about All Souls’ Day, Priests, etc.

    St. Stephen the First Martyr, Sacramento, CA, FSSP will have a Solemn High Mass at 7pm tonight. The vestments are black with silver embellishments. The CATAFALQUE is already set up, draped in black. There will be three candles on each side and the LIBERA ME will be sung. The adult choir and choristers (8-14) yrs. of age, will sing a setting of the REQUIEM by Anerio, a polyphonic 16th century master. All three priests will have said three Masses, a total of nine for a Novena for the Poor Souls. I will definitely be there tonight.

  22. frobuaidhe says:

    Masses in black, but not an unbleached candle to be had. Preached on Purgatory. Indulgences will come another day – too much information in one sermon isn’t good.

  23. Titus says:

    Violet vestments, but the Mass was in a chapel, not a full parish church; I don’t think there are any black vestments in the sacristy.

  24. Tom A. says:

    Basillica of Immaculate Conception in Waterbury CT. Violet vestments, Novus Ordo, no extra ordinary ministers of the Eucharist (always a blessing not to have them prancing around the altar), and a good solid teaching on why we should pray, say masses, and give alms for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. My eyes started to well up with tears as Father explained how grateful the Poor Soul will be that we help release from Purgatory. How incessantly the Poor Soul will intercede on our behalf until we too are in Paradise. Very touching.

  25. maskaggs says:

    I only made it to Solemn Vespers, but it featured black cope and a black dalmatic for the deacon.

  26. Mike says:

    NO Mass; White vestments; Latin chant for Reqiuem opening; Sanctus, Agnus Dei; homliy was short but pithy mention of “Bonus miles” we can earn for souls in Purgatory.

    Reverent throughout.

  27. ndmom says:

    White vestments at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. Was not expecting black vestments, which we usually had at our old NO parish in northern Virginia. Yesterday, because of scheduling issues, our family was forced to attend Mass at the local parish rather than the Basilica. This parish has not yet implemented Bishop D’Arcy’s directive on the placement of tabernacles, and as we walked in the door, one of the kids said “It sounds like we’re coming into a restaurant.” The “music ministers” were warming up, and lots of folks were meeting and greeting in the vestibule. At the beginning of Mass, we were directed to turn around and face the baptismal font, which we could not see, but never fear — there is a giant screen in the back of the church to enable us to see the priest hamming it up with a toddler to be baptized during Mass. Then the processional, accompanied by the children’s choir screaming out “glory to God in the highest” and much enthusiastic bongo drumming. It only got worse, as the homily on All Saints was jettisoned in favor of the baptism, confirmation of the mom, and the validation of the marriage of the child’s parents. Much clapping ensued. Before the celebrant moved on with the liturgy, he commented, “Well, we’ve broken open God’s word, then we did a lot of other stuff, and now we’re getting ready for The Eucharist!!”
    Is this really what goes on in most parishes? We have been unable to bring ourselves to join a local parish, because friends have told us that other places around here are even worse. Every month or so, we drive into Chicago to go to what the kids call “a real Mass” at St. Mary’s of the Angels.

  28. Mike says:

    The priest at the OF Mass this morning wore black gothic vestments. EPI was also used. The homilies both today and on the Saturday Anticipatory Mass for All Saints’ mentioned Purgatory and today’s homily included a relevant excerpt from Spe Salvi and touched on the current practise of Indulgences.

    I had something to do with the black vestments as I had asked our pastor if he would wear the set that I had ordered for All Souls’ Day. :p He, however, opted against the optional use of the maniple (brick by brick). As it was the first time the vestments were used, they were blessed before Mass as I had previously obtained the (necessary?) authorization for this blessing from the bishop when we were chatting one day.

  29. ckdexterhaven says:

    The priest(s) wore white. The sermon was about purgatory, and praying for the souls there. Also, how we should be thankful for Purgatory, so we can be cleansed. At the end of Mass, Father reminded us that St. John Vianney said that for every Mass said, 125K souls were released from Purgatory.

  30. catholicmidwest says:

    White, I think. I went last night and was really thrown off by the ribald halloween joke at the start of the homily. The priest is new to this diocese and comes from India. I don’t think he understands the culture here very well.

  31. q7swallows says:

    At Our Lady of Guadalupe in Guadalupe, CA, there have been two Masses so far (English-NO, EF-Low) and there will be  a third this evening at 7 pm Pacific Time (a Spanish-NO).  
    All in black vestments and all offered by the same solo act pastor who has been mentioning it at all the Masses for the past 2-3 weeks to prepare the people. ( ! )

    No other parishes (with multiple priests available!) within a 15-mile-plus radius were taking advantage of the 3 Mass allowance that I know of (tried to find a close one for my husband for the evening and failed)!

    Homily in Guadalupe:  praying several times daily or more, ideally, for the poor souls in Purgatory is living out the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have done unto yourself.

    God bless this priest!

  32. Justin_Kolodziej says:

    OF, white vestments. There wasn’t much of a homily and most of it was silence to allow us to pray for the souls of our choice. Otherwise it was a very ordinary (pun intended) Mass.

  33. AnnaTrad51 says:

    At our parish we have 2 FSSP priests. One said his back to back in black and silver vestments this morning, no sermon. The other priest will say his this evening with one been a Solemn High Requiem Mass with sermon and all that goes with it, including a sermon.

  34. AnnaTrad51 says:

    I should have said he said his three Masses back to back.

  35. Will D. says:

    Novus Ordo, white vestments, but with a whizbang sermon on confession and purgatory. This was not at my usual parish, I missed that mass, unfortunately.

  36. isabella says:

    It was reverent and the sermon was about the nature of Purgatory and why the Church believes in its existence. We were reminded to pray for indulgences for the souls there and that since their salvation is guaranteed after their purging, some day, they will perhaps pray for us from Heaven. Then I lit candles for my own loved ones.

  37. Eyeawa says:

    Black on Nov 2nd : All Souls Day

    White on Nov 1st : All Saints Day

    Upstate Iowa.

  38. yatzer says:

    Excuse me, but what is the catafalque for? I was at Holy Rosary in Indy also, but not very knowledgeable,

  39. Steve K. says:

    Yatzer – it’s like a coffin on a stand. It’s to memorialize the dead.

    St. Benedict’s, Chesapeake VA (EF). We had the three masses today, I went to the sung mass at 7 pm. Priest wore black, we had the catafalque and unbleached candles. It was a very moving Mass. The homily was powerful and reminded us of the four last things. Also, the choir was exceptionally lovely – especially the Dies Irae.

  40. ipadre says:

    I was robed in black twice today, for the morning Mass, Ordinary Form in the vernacular and for the Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form. A beautiful new (old, made in the 1920’s) Roman vestment given to me this week by a parishioner’s friend. Actually the first time I had a black vestment to use.

  41. Father S. says:

    I offered Holy Mass thrice today; all three times were NO and in black vestments. The first time was in Latin (ad orientem), the second in English (with a concelebrant in violet, as I only have one black) and a third in Spanish with biretta. All three used incense and all three were chanted in near entirety (with sparse accompanied music). The second two were ad populum. I had intended to offer Holy Mass at the cemetery but was unable. Next year I plan to offer my first Holy Mass at the cemetery at first light. It is too far from the parish for a procession, but we could at least caravan over. The sermon was on the need to pray for the deceased, based on St. Ambrose: “We have loved them in life; let us not abandon them in death.” All three Holy Masses were well attended.

  42. Clinton says:

    Black vestments on our parish priest, fine job by the choir — particularly with the Dies Irae. This was the first time I’ve seen
    our p.p. say an EF Mass. He did beautifully. Remembered to pray for the souls of priests in purgatory in this the year for priests.
    That was thanks to your suggestion, Fr. Z.

    I’ll be writing a note to the rectory, thanking them for such a beautiful Mass. I imagine they think they were only doing their job,
    but surely it can’t hurt to hear a ‘thank you’.

  43. Steve K. says:

    It’s nice to see many of the priests posting here having links to their own blogs. I have read several, thank you all, they are very edifying!

    Sometimes I think WDTPRS is also a kind of Catholic social networking site…

  44. James Locke says:

    well good news, I can report beautiful black robes and a beautiful mass with an excellent choir!

  45. JPG says:

    This was my first All Souls EF. It was at St Mary’s in Norwalk. The vestments were a Black with a silver brocade, There was a catafalque with unbleached candles.Fr Cipolla gave a sermon after Mass before the absolution which was wonderful. More so than the Solemnity of the Mass itself I was when I returned home struck by the differnces in the prayers or collects. The EF collects are far more explicit in their pleading for the souls of those in Purgatory in both for the forgiveness and delivery from suffering. I compared them with the OF when I returned home. Fr Cipolla rightly pointed out that funerals have become canonizations. I had the occasion to attend an Evangelical burial recently and was appalled and shocked although I knew better that there was nary one prayer for the deceased. Not even one of commendation as at a Methodist funeral I attended during the summer. We, perhaps because of the Reformation and our Modernist denial of the reality of death deny both it and judgement. Just read the Gospel for the EF first Mass(John 5 :25-29) Death means judgement, the outcome of which is perhaps not as certain as we wish. The Liturgy of the EF is a reminder of our duties to the dead and our duties as Christians to prepare ourselves for judgement.

  46. JPG says:

    A further comment. Reading through the Rite of burial in the EF, I am beginning to think when I should pass I would prefer my burial (and it WILL be a burial NO cremation) it would be according to the EF, a proper Requiem Mass, not the OF.

  47. CCS says:

    Violet for us, although there was some great preaching about purgatory.

  48. david andrew says:

    Black vestments, black veil on the chalice. The catafalque had a white and gold pall, which I thought was odd. The catafalque has a dome-shaped top, and sitting on it at the “head” end was a curved brass plate with two candles and a crucifix.

    It is an ethnically Polish parish, and the Mass reflected the influence. After the homily, in which the priest talked about the importance of praying for the holy souls, families who had lost a member in the past year came forward and lit a votive candle on the Marian side altar. After the post-communion prayer, the priest removed his chasuble and put on a black cope. A procession formed (crucifer, thurifer and priest) and they went to stations set up at each of the four corners of the church. Each station had a candle and vase of flowers. At each station a series of prayers (including the Our Father and Hail Mary followed by versicles and responses) were recited. The station was incensed as the dead were prayed for. Every other station was prayed in Polish. The fifth and final station was at the catafalque, and concluded with the blessing and dismissal and the singing of the Polish hymn, Witaj Krolowo nieba (Salve Regina).

    The parish has been celebrating All Souls this way for many, many years.

  49. mwelle says:

    The mass at St. Agnes, in St. Paul MN, was very nice. They played Mozart’s Requiem, my personal favorite, and the music was heavenly. The Mass itself was celebrated in the NO but nevertheless it was very beautiful. St. Agnes does a very nice job with the NO with latin, ad orientem, and the little things that are very reverent to our lord. All of the seminarians from St. John Vianney Minor Seminary were there in cassock and surplus and that was very pleasant to see so many young men willing to make a such a commitment to Christ’s Holy Church; to see them at St. Agnes nonetheless!

  50. Jon says:

    At the FSSP apostolate in Harrisburg, we were blessed with a Solemn High Mass, assisted by various goodly seminarians from Mt. St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg. The celebrant, Father Frank Parinello, FSSP,the deacon and subdeacon wore fine black vestments. Cope, veil, burse, and altar frontal were all matching.

    Our fine men’s schola sang all sequences, etc…, a capella, as is traditionally appropriate.

  51. Steve K. says:

    I am up too late but watching EWTN right now, which is showing the daily OF Mass. Father Anthony Mary in black vestments, nice Dies Irae chant, and a very good homily on purgatory.

  52. Mark Pavlak says:

    Don’t forget about the attendance of Bishop-elect Sirba. It was great to see him at home again before he leaves for Duluth. The Requiem Mass this year was exceptionally beautiful with all the seminarians, Fr. Welzbacher, and 6 other con-celebrating priests – all vested in BLACK. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist all the celebrants were facing ad-orientem. What a site to see with all that BLACK. The church was packed again with many visitors and students. One of my favorite Masses of the entire year.

  53. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Boy! When ya get to be 78 years old the memory really begins to fail. The vestments at St. Stephen’s in Sacramento were indeed black, but not with silver. They were embellished with royal purple embroidery trimmed in gold, with IHS in gold on the back of the fiddleback chasuble. The dalmatic and tunic of deacon and subdeacon were equally beautiful. At the Libera Me, incensing and sprinkling of holy water around the catafalque, the celebrant had on the most beautiful cope, with purple around the top and gold accents and fringe. I wish I could have taken pictures. The polyphonic Mass was indeed beautiful. There was no organ accompaniment whatsoever throughout. As the procession entered the church and advanced to the altar the choir sang the Introit of Anerio’s Mass. During the standard Dies Irae, some of us in the congregation joined the combined choir in singing it antiphonally. For my own funeral Mass I guess I want the Requiem most of us are familiar with, the one I and my choir of 50 plus years ago sang. It is simple and to the point.

  54. StMalachy says:

    Similar to Sieber above we had an alb and purple stole only. We also had an introduction telling us how the meaning of All Souls has changed since VII in that we now pray for the comfort of the living relatives of the dead rather than for the souls of the faithful departed. There was no homily – that was replaced with “silent reflection” followed by the Taizé chant “Jesus, remember me”. The host was broken by the celebrant during the words of consecration, with various other liberties taken in the words of the 2nd Eucharistic Prayer. Unfortunately, I have no choice as this is the only weekday Mass available to me. Fortunately it was a “supply” priest – only three more weeks to go!

  55. Ellen says:

    Mass at the Fathers of Mercy’s Chapel. Three priests, all in black and the sermon was on the souls in purgatory.

  56. Seraphic Spouse says:

    EF Mass in Scotland by FSSP priest. Black chalice veil, black vestments, Men’s Schola. As always, beautifully celebrated. The priest celebrated three EF All Souls’ Day Masses; I went to the “Mass I” one. It was in a little chapel; I don’t remember any special candle. No homily.

    I am utterly shocked by what StMalachy reports above. We didn’t need a homily to know that we were praying for the Holy Souls. Just about every prayer in the EF that day prayed for the Holy Souls. “Comfort of the living relatives of the dead” indeed! Can you imagine what the Holy Sould must think of people being told not to bother praying for them?

  57. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Oh, and it was a Missa Cantata. The first one was a low Mass, and the third one was also a Missa Cantata. Gee whiz, I’ll never get used to all this EF terminology.

  58. momoften says:

    We had black vestments at the Requeim Mass. Dies Irae has got to be one of my favorite parts sung…we also had booklets for the first time so it was nice to see the english translation. It was a very beautiful Mass.

  59. JPG says:

    Seraphic spouse, yes you will just keep at it. In terms of prayers for the bereaved living versus the suffering souls at first glance of the collects one would get that impression. This is not consistent with Tradition nor even what is laid down in the catechism.
    This being said I would be curious to hear what Fr Z has to say since one gets the impression that the prayers were often translated with an agenda. Namely either a dumbing down of the Latin or a dulling of the intent of the prayer. Thus if the Latin seems too judgemental or threatening of judgement the English is rendered as to say be nice and chew with your mouth closed or get a hand slap.( a bit of hyperbole I know. ) see above with the Gospel in the EF John 5 where the dead rise to bliss or judgement no mincing of words there! Obviously I have an interest thus I am reading and posting about the liturgy and the Faith but with this failure to emphasize the true nature of sin in the past 40 years and its consequences has enhanced and abetted apostasy not ameliorated it.
    It oten seems we as a society ought to be more cognizent of sin and its effects both for now and in the world to come and more aware of judgement on ourselves. I have heard people make the observation that there are more people who accept a sola fidei position in prison and not for their faith either. If one remain convinced that risking adultery ,or child abuse or, going through with a divorce would jeopardize one’s immortal soul would people still proceed? It often seems the sin of presumption has become one of the most deadly.

  60. chcrix says:

    Went to 19:00 EF (of course) at the Benedictine Oratory.

    High Mass. Priest, Deacon, Sub-Deacon. All black (purple trim).

  61. Kimberly says:

    This is sad, but I have never seen a mass done with black vestments. It would be such a wonderful teaching moment.

  62. Templar says:

    I attended the Solemn High Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Joseph Macon. The Celebrant, Deacon and Subdeacon all wore matching Black vestments trimmed in silver. They were newer simple Gothic style vestments, but they matched and were fitting. A catafalque and unbleached candles were used, and the Choir of about 30 members sang Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem in D Minor”. At a few parts of the Mass, such as during the singing of the Offertory, I was able to close my eyes, focus, and open the smallest of holes in the veil between Heaven and Earth. The tears of joy flowed freely.

    Father’s Homily began with a brief thank you to the Pope for SP and the right to say this Mass, pointing out it’s history an importance to identity as Catholics. He then followed with a strong Sermon on Purgatory, the reason Catholics believe in it, and some evidence supporting those beliefs.

    This Mass had a large turn out, 200+ I am sure, where as our monthly EF garners about 50 regulars, and was marred only by few folks presenting themselves and refusing to kneel for communion, or kneeling and insisting on receiving in the hand. I say this because I find it so sad that if you can comprehend that a Requiem Mass is clearly about anything BUT you, how can you make Communion about what YOU want, at any Mass really, but especially so at a Requiem.

    As a side note, my 16 year old son’s friend, a Methodist, accompanied us at his request. He was both impressed and awed.

  63. IL Catholic says:

    Novus Ordo with Violet Vestments. And Father’s homily was on purgatory.

    I bet if my schedule fit around the EF Mass that day I would have seen Black vestments.

  64. Henry Edwards says:

    Black vestments again today (Tuesday, Nov. 3) for our OF parish Mass, since — in the words of the homily we heard — we are “continuing our octave of prayer for the liberation of the poor souls in purgatory.”

    Hmm … Does this make me eligible for a second “black” vote? And even another one for each additional day this week if and when I see black vestments? (Don’t anybody panic; I’ve only voted once.)

  65. GregH says:


    I hope you start attending the EF for daily Mass.

  66. deaconjeff says:

    On the 2 November, at our 8:00am Mass, OF, Priest (under 35) and Deacon (under 50) wore beautiful black vestments, while the alter server wore cassock and surplice. Many Mass parts were chanted, including the Gospel. Some of the prayers and responses were in Latin. Homily was on Soul’s in Purgatory, and the need to pray for them. Those attending responded in a very positive way.

  67. Agnes says:

    St Agnes has already been mentioned, but I have to add – it was beautiful, and powerful, and strong. Bishop-elect Sirba was in attendanceand so many seminarians. The house was jam packed. The music of the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, as always, moved the soul. Many people came to hear Mozart, but what they received was a taste of eternity. Msgr. Richard Schuler, pray for us.

  68. Ultramontanist says:

    Black vestments were used at my parish for All Souls. But I had a somewhat strange black-vestment-sighting before that. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

    At my parish here in Germany (led by Jesuits) masses are usually more trendy than traddy (Kumbayah is one of the priest’s favourite “hymns”). Luckily though, the Jesuits’ superior, who is, alas, not the priest who celebrates the regular parish masses, seems to be taking things into a different direction; with a Latin Novus Ordo mass once a month, which – sad as that may be – is a huge step forward here. Now to my actual qeustion: On Saturday, we had Latin vespers with chant and “the works”.

    What puzzled me though, was that the priest was wearing black vestments. I should stress that this was the usually trendy one, not the superior. Why black vestments for vespers before All Saints? Was it his way of saying “look, if I am forced to to this traddy business against my will, I am going to at least mix up the liturgical colours as a form of passive resistance”? This would not surprise me, since his homily was basically a statement that, even as Catholics, we should not really put importance on saints. Or is there any good reason for black vestments on (or immediately before) All Saints? I am confused.

  69. irishgirl says:

    I went to three TLMs, back to back to back. Low Mass, no sermon. The priest wore black [of course]. Had a black frontal on the altar and two unbleached candles.

    By the time I got into the second Mass, my knees and lower back were killing me-not used to kneeling for long periods of time. So when the priest’s Communion came around at the second and third Mass, I got off my knees and half-sat in the pew. I knelt again when my back felt a little better.

    All for the Holy Souls in Purgatory….

  70. ies0716 says:

    Went to St. Agnes in St. Paul, MN for an amazing Requiem Mass. The musical settings were from Mozart, and they actually sang “Dies irae.” It was the first time I can think of that the Last Judgment was explicitly referred to in a liturgical setting. I was very impressed! The only downside was that the Mass took nearly two hours, and since the church was packed it got very warm. I didn’t think my pregnant wife was going to make it through, but she did!

  71. Eric says:

    The cemetery was well lit last night, thanks to God.
    The full moon was directly overhead. It was almost like daytime.
    Some years one can’t see his hand in front of his face even with a candle.
    The vestments were black, the cemetery was not.

  72. St John the Beloved, McLean, Virginia. Missa Cantata in the evening, with black vestments, a black-draped catafalque, and a full crew of servers, including four torchbearers. Father McAfee was celebrant, Father Scalia was “in choro,” and chanted the Epistle. The mens’ schola led the Ordinary appropriate for the day, and sang the propers. There were no candles flanking the catafalque (no room in the aisle). At the end of the Absolution, Father prayed an additional oration in the vernacular, that was included as such in the approved Rituale. It served as a suitable homily of its own.

    A Tip of the Black Hat to the priests of St John Cantius in Chicago and the hosts of, whose video for a Requiem Missa Cantata served as part of my “crash course” as Master of Ceremonies.

  73. TMA says:

    Our first All Souls mass was at a liberal arts college run by an order of women religious. I attended with a relative who is alum. Alumni had been invited to submit names of their beloved dead. These names were read by some elderly women (nuns?) before mass with this sung phrase interspersed throughout: “You are ever a part of our lives; all the good you have shared will live on in our hearts.” The priest wore white and gave a very good sermon about praying for the Poor Souls. The music consisted of three songs done by the same women and a guitar. One of the choir members read a “Death Poem” after communion. I didn’t get the point of the poem, especially when I heard the word, “orgasmic.” As we left the chapel, my 11 year old whispered in my ear, “That was so cheesy.”

    Later that evening, we attended our parish’s sung EF requiem. Black vestments, unbleached candles,black-draped catafalque, chant. It was simple, proper, and no cheese.

    I think that those who organized the NO event were sincerely trying to reach out to the bereaved. In the EF community, however, it is made clear that all our prayers and efforts are for the Poor Souls, not for ourselves. We will keep up these prayers during the octave of All Souls.

  74. at3p says:

    Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Seattle WA

    Solemn Requiem Mass according to the Dominican Rite:
    Black vestments on all three ministers
    Catafaulque with six candles (unbleached)
    celebration at the high altar (six more unbleached candles)
    Music: Tomas de Vittoria Requiem and Libera
    Propers from Dominican Graduale (incl. Dies Irae)
    Specific aspects of Dominican ritual: the black humeral veil
    and black mappula (gremial); Dominican form of the “Absolution of the Dead (Libera).

    Excellent sermon by former provincial and current pastor, Fr. Daniel Syverstad, on the cleansing power of the fire of purgatory as a gift of divine love (referencing St. Catherine of Genua) and how our prayers for dead are God’s way of allowing us to participate in this purgation.

    Music by the Tudor Music Society, resident at Blessed Sacrament, was simply sublime.

    Attendance: nave completely full (holds just under 700), transcept almost full (holds 70). Some standing in the back. So probably over 650 people present.

  75. asperges says:

    Corpus Christi Nottingham (UK). Sung Mass (all plainsong, incl Dies Irae) EF. Black vestments and everything as it should be. Of course the people were reminded and encouraged to pray for the Faithful Departed and obtain the plenary indulgence.

    One of the most striking points of the old Requiem Mass is the balance between the sadness for the loss of loved ones and hope and encouragement for them and for us. There is something very touching in the thought that no soul ever goes un-prayed for in the Church – especially on this Feast. There are several rubrics which change from the usual EF rite: less incense, certain omissions, variation of blessings and tones of the preface, Pater Noster etc. All a perfect setting: beautiful, gentle, consoling, efficacious. The very essence of the Roman rite indeed.

  76. cnaphan says:

    Ordinary Form. White with lots of gold. I don’t believe our parish has black vestments, though. Very plain, no music. Father preached on purgatory and indulgences. Pretty textbook.

    But as Johnny Cash said:

    “But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,
    Up front there ought to be a man in black.”

  77. robert l says:

    Well, I was able to serve 3 Low Masses(little late for the 1st one) in the morning back to back. In the evening, I was able to assist at a High Requiem which had the Absolution of the catfalque immediately afterwards. It had a fair turnout for a Monday evening-maybe 1/3 of a Sunday Mass crowd.


  78. merrydelval says:

    I came out of the sacristy of my parish where I am the parochial victim for the 7.30am OF Mass in black vestments and biretta in time for the Folk Mass Choir (guitars, maracas, and keyboard) to sing “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.” After the Alleluia based on the Lily of the Fields, I preached on suffrages for the dead, which was followed by some 1960s song about God giving me brothers and living in fraternity. Mass of Cremation Mass parts, and Do not be Afraid as the Recessional. I changed the altar around and prepared for my private EF Mass, the first ever celebrated in this parish church. As I said Mass, one group of people continued to talk loudly and banter about in church as another group started praying the Rosary loudly until I was already at the Offertory. 12.05pm OF Mass with a bevy of altar girls and female Extraordinary Ministers, Blest are they and Peace on Earth. I then got in my car and drove two hours north to serve as subdeacon at a Solemn High Mass with a church filled with young people and families. What a respite until I had to come back to my parish to wait for the Liturgy Committee and the Pastoral Council to express their outrage at my daring to wear black vestments, as happened last year in November.

  79. Agnes says:

    Father was astounded by the crowd at St. Agnes. He estimated 1200 faithful.

  80. KristenB says:

    Comments on how it relates to our baptismal garments and relates to the white garments of the saints in Revelation.
    Much commenting on the parish’s centennial Mass and the oh so important visit of our Bishop Trautman for the occasion. And be sure to stay after that Mass for the refreshments! And oh yes, let’s welcome all the new families (applause).
    Usually it’s so good, but sometimes…

    Did I mention the guitar????

  81. wanda says:

    I can’t count my 2 cents in with the others, but, I attended Mass in our local cemetery today.
    Our Pastor wore black vestments! We gathered to pray for the souls of our departed loved ones, friends, family members and all those who were buried there.

    It was beautiful. There were some good people placing U.S. flags on the graves of Veterans of the Armed Forces. Very touching remembrance.

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