QUAERITUR: Color of vestments for Stations of the Cross. WDTPRS POLL

From a priest reader:

Father, any chance of a discussion and/or priests’ poll about the color of cope (or any cope at all) used for Stations of the Cross? When I speak to priests about this, there seems to be a great deal of variety.

Gee. I’ve always thought purple worked pretty well, given that it is Lent.

I suppose one could use black, because of the color of vestments traditionally used for Good Friday.

However, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross needs red.

We could use some discussion of this.

Also, let’s have a poll.

What do you usually see at your parish or chapel for Stations of the Cross.

PS: This means you have to go to Stations! Right?

What color cope/stole do you see for Stations of the Cross?

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  1. Legisperitus says:

    Purple stole, no cope.

  2. padredana says:

    I usually use violet, but surely black or red would be appropriate as well, especially on Good Friday and/or Palm Sunday. Since Stations of the Cross are not a liturgical celebration, but rather a devotional celebration, the rules for liturgical color would not be quite so strict. So I say wear whatever color suits your fancy.

  3. Centristian says:

    I have only ever seen a priest lead the stations wearing purple (a stole over either a surplice and cassock or an alb). I’ve never seen a diocesan priest use a cope, and I just can’t recall whether or not Lefebvrist priests ever wore a cope when leading the stations.

  4. Father S. says:

    Father, thanks for the poll.

    In my parish, we have the Stations three times each Friday during Lent. We have them once for the school children and folks who want to come in the morning, once in the evening in English and another time in the evening in Spanish. For all three, we use the traditional Stations from St. Alphonsus Liguori.

    Last year I used black for all of the Stations. My permanent deacons used black or violet in the evenings. This year, because I just got a new red cope, I used red this morning. I and One of my deacons use the cope over the cassock and surplice with biretta. Another of my deacons uses the alb and cope.

  5. bigmikensc says:

    Tonight and every Friday in Lent we have Stations in English and then in Spanish and I wear an alb, purple stole and purple cope. I have done it this way for many years. And I am a diocesean priest too!

  6. irishgirl says:

    In the past when I’ve gone to Stations, it’s always purple.
    I’ve also seen either a stole or a cope. I think it depends on the priest’s preference.
    Nowadays, I do the Stations alone in church, so I don’t have to worry about what the color of the priest’s vestments are….

  7. Random Friar says:

    Copes are expensive, so it’s not surprising to find that the parish has only one color cope, if any.

  8. fatherdeviese says:

    To be honest, I’d never really given it much thought. But now that the question has been posed, I’m going to go out on a limb and wear a black stole tonight. We’ll see what happens…maybe the earth will stop rotating or something…

  9. acardnal says:

    I have usually seen cassock and surplice with a purple stole.

  10. I use a purple stole, no cope, most of Lent; I save the cope for a more solemn celebration.

    On Good Friday, that’s when I use the red cope.

    Never thought about the biretta…is that suitable? Does the priest need to uncover periodically?

  11. I actually do have a purple cope–which is rather nicer than the red. I use the purple cope for penance services. I’m trying to recall where I read some hand-wringing post about how a poor child was traumatized by a priest doing such a thing. Supposedly the child was convinced the priest looked like Dracula. Mmm-hmm…

  12. Cathy says:

    My apologies, I have yet to see at my parish the priest leading the Stations of the Cross. This is usually given to the deacons.

  13. Stephen Matthew says:

    Usually the stations are lay led during Lent at home, but on Good Friday the pastor leads them (and the entire local community is invited as part of our local Lenten ecumenical program) and usually wore a purple stole and white alb, but we have a new pastor this year so no idea what he will be doing. I don’t think the parish even has a cope in the vestment collection, and I can just about be certain there are no black anythings at all.

  14. momoften says:

    If we went to our parish, the pastor would wear purple. But, we are going to a church 5 minutes away, and it will be white. I believe it is their only cope, which is so wrong, as they can afford another. Hmmm, you have planted a seed. My boys will serve for him tonight…and…..I will have them discuss it. At our home parish we have almost all the colors, and we are a very small parish. We have been gifted many antique cope sets that are beautiful–but now we are trying to purchase new ones over time, as the old ones are not holding up. Our pastor loves to do Benediction,and the Asperges… thence, the old ones do not hold up well over much usage. Praise God he uses them a lot.

  15. Cazienza says:

    This evening our priest was in cassock, surplice and purple stole. The crucifer (is that a word?) was tunicled in purple – he’s a priest too. The server (layman) was in cassock and surplice.

  16. edm says:

    In our Episcopal (Anglocatholic) parish we have had two different customs over the last few years for vestments at Stations andBenediction: 1) priest in cassock, surplice and purple stole or 2) priest in cassock and NO stole, only donning the stole (white) before putting on the white cope for benediction. Many years ago it was also the custom for purple stole and cope at stations with a white humeral veil at benediction. There seems to be widespread practice and preferred styles in liturgical manuals. Same widespread practices as to whether candles should be lit or not lit at the altar. What is the “more correct”? I suspect that there is no correct answer and much about local usages.

  17. bigmikensc says:

    If you rumage around on eBay as I do you, can find that there are sellers where you can pick up copes for a reasonable price. I had mine made by CM Almy because I am 6’4″ and the average size cope would not fit me. But for you average people I have seen some very nice vestments and even copes and some very expensive ones as well. Better to get them off the internet and back into parishes where they can be used again.

  18. I was always given to understand that since Stations is not in the technical sense a liturgical service, nor does it deal with a sacrament, the stole should not be worn at all. The same for the Rosary. Only a cassock and cotta.

  19. mpolo says:

    Normally we use violet. On Good Friday, we use red, following the current liturgical color for that day.

  20. Father S. says:

    As to the biretta, so long as one uncovers when crossing in front of the tabernacle and at the genuflections, there would be no reason for it to be disallowed.

    As for copes being expensive, that is simply not the case. I just got a very nice (and I mean very nice) red and black cope for less than $400 together from India. Also, one can easily find vestments of fine quality from Poland. As for the biretta, I just received a collapsible one from Poland for less than $50 with shipping. Except, perhaps, for small parishes, there should be no reason why a parish does not have suitable vestments or will not have them shortly.

  21. Mom2301 says:

    There isn’t even a priest present at stations of the cross in our parish. It is led by a layperson and it really isn’t the stations of the cross because what is read doesn’t correspond with any particular station. It’s more like a stations of social justice. Hence, I no longer attend. Thanks to Fr. Z I have used the podcast of St. Alphonsus’ stations to do the stations on my own.

  22. Black cope and stole (rescued off Ebay), cassock, surplice, and biretta.

  23. worm says:

    I’ve usually seen our priests in a cassock, surplice, and violet stole (or red on Good Friday). When our deacons are asked to lead, I’ve seen them in an alb and stole (again violet).

  24. Centristian says:

    I notice that the Pope’s costume varies from year to year. Sometimes he has worn an elaborately embroidered red stole over his red mozzetta, but he has also led the way of the Cross in his plain white cassock without a stole, or wearing his red cape over his cassock without a stole, or wearing his long white coat over his cassock without a stole.

  25. ReginaMarie says:

    Ours is an Eastern Catholic parish, so we have the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts on Fridays rather than the Stations of the Cross. Both Father & the servers wear dark red vestments, which is standard all throughout the Great Fast.

  26. kiwitrad says:

    Our priest said the Stations only once last year and he wore a dark suit and a dog collar (which is the only time I’ve seen him wear one).

  27. Elizabeth D says:

    Was led by a permanent deacon in alb and purple deacon stole. Cross bearer in cassock and surplice.

  28. Fr_Marc says:

    Cassock, surplice, violet stole and cope.

  29. Trad Catholic Girl says:

    Our priest, on loan from another parish, wore a cassock, surplice, and I believe a purple stole during benediction, although it could have had some red in it as well. This is going a bit off topic but I have to say that this priest has a quite beautiful singing voice. When we have had him for Mass in the past, I have noticed that he is usually the only one on key.

  30. Steven says:

    Our seminary priests use purple stole and cope over cassock and surplice (or alb, depending on the priest)

  31. Denita says:

    Father Jaun Diego (Franciscian Friars of Renewal) wore a purple cope. This was my first Stations done in Latin, BTW. Off topic, speaking of copes, at Benediction yesterday, a (substitute?) priest wore a white cope and stole with BLUE design. That is, white with blue collar(?) that had abstract white doves printed on it. I believe the stole had blue doves, I’m not sure. I didn’t know blue was a liturgical color. I know white is used for Exposition and Benediction, but Blue?

  32. FrDonato says:

    I wear a purple cope and stole for the Fridays of Lent, but a red cope/stole for Stations on Good Friday.

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