POLL: Color of Vestments for All Souls

Here is a little poll about what you saw for the Mass you went to for All Souls.

Yes, I know that it is not a Holy Day of Obligation, as All Saints was (in most places… if you didn’t go to Mass, you probably have something more to confess), but a lot of people go.

So… tell us about the vestments.  I have in mind Latin Church, Roman Rite here.

The combox is open.

What color (Latin Church) vestments did you see for Mass on 2 November?

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  1. Magpie says:

    I thought it a bit odd that the priest incensed the altar after Holy Communion distribution was finished and everything put away, in the quiet time after Communion. Thus he was incensing an essentially bare altar. Has anyone seen that done before?

  2. ASPM Sem says:

    Haven’t had Mass yet, but it will be black and another color. We have one black chasuble at SJV, which the main celebrant will be wearing, and the other priests (quite a few vocations directors today as it is a Vianney Visit) will be wearing I’m not sure what color.

  3. JonPatrick says:

    Extraordinary form Mass, vestments and chalice veil/burse were black, altar frontal (if that is the right term) was purple, they probably didn’t have a black one. Choir sang a Dies Irae that was beautiful, gave me goose-bumps. I pray that I will be with the sheep and not the goats. Father preached about the importance of praying for the dead and how we had better hope there will be someone praying for us and having Masses said which is the best form of prayer.

  4. benedetta says:

    Black, with a rose cross on the chasuble. Very fitting, as the homily while sobering considering how ready we are to face the eternal Truth of judgement by our Creator, also touched on the hope we have in God’s mercy if we turn towards God with a contrite heart.

  5. VexillaRegis says:

    Black with a silver cross.

  6. FrCharles says:

    I mentioned to Br. Sacristan that I would happily use black if we had something. He said he thought we did, and then produced a white vestment with some black and red in the trim. So I went with violet.

  7. CGPearson says:

    The vestments were black, but I went to a FSSP parish so that was to be expected.

  8. sw85 says:

    I honestly can’t answer — the only Masses offered in my deanery (where the entire Mass and confession schedule is centrally coordinated so that, if you miss Mass or confession at one parish, you’ll have to drive 90 minutes to have another shot at it) on Saturdays are Sunday Vigil Masses.

  9. Nan says:

    @ASPM Sem, isn’t BYOV a possibility?

    St. Paul Seminary – bunches of priests in violet, including our Bishop-Elect and the Seminary Rector. Yet people thought it was weird there were no EMHC’s.

  10. PA mom says:

    Fairly certain our priest was wearing green.

    Not right, I guess?

  11. cathgrl says:

    Violet, although the sacristan had prepared for white because the Ordo (OF) said white was primary. These Priests have also had violet on 11-2, so some last-minute adjustments were made.

  12. acardnal says:

    In 2014, the USCCB has decided that November 1, All Saints, will NOT be a Holy Day of Obligation because it falls on a Saturday. Too much effort for weak Americans, I guess. Sad.

  13. The Sicilian Woman says:

    The vestments looked off-white or ivory.

  14. acardnal says:

    The USCCB 2013 Liturgical Calendar for the NO Mass states that violet, white or black vestments may be used. (I would have liked to have seen black but saw white at the All Souls day Mass.)

    Source: http://www.usccb.org/about/divine-worship/liturgical-calendar/upload/2013cal.pdf

    NOVEMBER 2013

    1 Fri All Saints white
    Solemnity [Holyday of Obligation]
    Rv 7:2-4, 9-14/1 Jn 3:1-3/Mt 5:1-12a (667) Pss Prop

    2 Sat The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed white/violet/black
    (All Souls’ Day)
    Wis 3:1-9/Rom 5:5-11 or 6:3-9/Jn 6:37-40 (668), or any readings from no. 668 or from
    the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Masses for the Dead, nos. 1011-1016
    Pss Prop

  15. Nathan says:

    Went to Solemn High Mass today, the sacred ministers wore a beautiful High Mass set of black vestments. This is a parish recently given to a fledgling group of Oratorian Fathers, and the celebrant said that this was probably the first Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form to be celebrated in that church in at least forty years. Deo gratias, and requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.

    In Christ,

  16. ASPM Sem says:

    @Nan I suppose; though I’m not sure how many vocations directors would have a black vestment in their personal closet that they would want to haul in the back of a van for a few hours.

    The primary celebrant wore black and the rest wore purple.

  17. ASPM Sem says:

    Also @Nan:

    I love it when we have 6 (or more) priests concelebrating @ SJV as then we need no EMHCs. Though, seminarians are better than nuns in pant suits IMHO ;)

  18. JDBenedictH says:

    @ASPM Sem: I’m guessing you probably had purple? I had to leave the Vianney Visit early, so I saw that the priest for the early Mass (for Lansing or Joliet, I believe) was wearing purple.

    At Holy Family both the priest and deacon wore black.

  19. Mike says:

    I was at that Mass. It was a beautiful liturgy, and very well done considering the long time since that Mass was offered there. The homily was also outstanding.

  20. Stephen Matthew says:

    Sadly I do not know, as I over-slept and missed the one and only mass at the parish today. While we do have two priests, since it is only a commemoration it seems they thought it best not to add any masses to the schedule for All Souls (though thankfully we did have extra mass times for All Saints).

    I would expect the vestments were the color indicated in the Ordo in the sacristy, which I think suggested white for both All Saints and All Souls, and white seems to be the most common at funerals in these parts as well, so that would all point toward white.

  21. Nan says:

    @ASPM Sem, you just never know what relics have been passed down or who’s a liturgical clotheshorse so anything’s possible.

    SJV has nuns in pantsuits? Please, no.

    Thank you for being at SJV.

    @JDBenedictH, thank you for being a Vianney Visitor.

  22. Nan says:

    @ASPM sem again, I love seminarians. Going to Mass among them is great; total toss-up whether that’s better because it’s an ongoing increase in the number of priests we have or special things like Bishop Surprise the morning Bp. Cozzens was revealed to us.

  23. Dustin and Jamie P. says:

    We went to Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary in Griswold with the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Father wore black vestments. At the Cathedral, as well, the diocesan priest wore black.

  24. Art says:

    All black and Novus Ordo. But then again, this wasn’t the neighbourhood parish. For those who frequent Marytown, is it always like this?

  25. jhayes says:

    acardnal wrote: In 2014, the USCCB has decided that November 1, All Saints, will NOT be a Holy Day of Obligation because it falls on a Saturday. Too much effort for weak Americans, I guess. Sad.

    That decision was made over twenty years ago.

    Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.

    This decree of the Conference of Bishops was approved and confirmed by the Apostolic See by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops (Prot. N. 296/84), signed by Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, prefect of the Congregation, and dated July 4, 1992.


  26. Jim in Seattle says:

    Ornate black; choir singing ‘Dies Irae’; blessing of catafalgue at end (representing all souls of purgatory). FSSP Parish.

  27. VexillaRegis says:

    Slightly OT: All souls day always reminds me of a collective rememberance service I once played at in a Lutheran church. The minister, dressed in an alb and a multi coloured stole, merrily told the congregation, that we were all saints! Even if we swear, party a lot, never go to church and have “fun” in general, we will go to Heaven when we die. A (not particularily churchy) tenor in the choir said afterwards: ” My goodness, if that’s true, what’s the purpose of his job then?”

  28. pelerin says:

    Black and gold vestments in Westminster Cathedral London. Novus ordo Mass. I see that next year in Britain All Saints Day will be celebrated on Sunday November 2nd with All Souls day being on Monday November 3rd. Today being Saturday it was rather strange to attend the Saturday evening Sunday Mass so soon after the All Souls Mass but at least All Souls Day next year will get a full day for it.

  29. acardnal says:

    jhayes wrote,
    “acardnal wrote: In 2014, the USCCB has decided that November 1, All Saints, will NOT be a Holy Day of Obligation because it falls on a Saturday. Too much effort for weak Americans, I guess. Sad.”

    That decision was made over twenty years ago.

    WHEN the decision was made is immaterial. It is a sad occasion indeed! Over the years, the number of Holy Days of Obligation have diminished in the USA. The bishops have decided it is just too much of a burden to ask Catholics to attend Holy Mass two consecutive days. Unbelievable! And now the bishops wonder why no one attends Mass on EVERY Sunday?!?

    Many countries in Europe and South America observe more of the traditional Holy Days of Obligation than we do in the USA, and they are often designated as secular holidays there, too.

    Come on American bishops! Get with the program. Stop catering to nominal Catholics and reinstate all of the Holy Days of Obligation observed on the established worldwide Roman Calendar. . . AND reinstate mandatory abstinence on Fridays, too!

  30. Mike says:

    Come on, American priests, too! Our pastor didn’t say a word last Sunday in his homily about the coming Day of Obligation.

  31. acardnal says:

    jhayes, rereading your comment above, I think you thought I thought that that was a recent decision by the USCCB. I did not. I am aware that this sad situation has been in effect for some years in the USA. Rather, I was commenting that next year, All Saints Day will NOT be considered a Holy Day of Obligation because of the USCCB decision.

  32. frjim4321 says:

    We do not have a Saturday morning mass here so the color issue is mute. In other years here it has been white.

    We did announce last weekend the holy day of obligation with masses at 7:30 AM and 7 PM on Friday; no anticipated mass on Thursday evening due to Halloween activities.

    If All Souls is a Sunday in 2014 doesn’t it take precedence over the Sunday in Ordinary Time? I forget but I think we had All Souls on a Sunday once.

  33. Tradster says:

    I was at an SSPX chapel so naturally the vestments were black as was proper.
    As an aside, it was my first experience with all three Low Masses celebrated without any break, flowing seamlessly from one to the next. It was extremely beautiful albeit somewhat disconcerting at first for those of us unprepared for the experience. It felt like “All Souls Day Meets Groundhog Day”.

  34. acardnal says:

    frjim4321, why don’t you have a Saturday morning Mass?

    Today, All Souls Day, priests are permitted to celebrate THREE Masses.

  35. The pastor where I attended Mass this morning made a point of mentioning that he was wearing violet and that he had a choice of violet, white, or black, and that he and his concelebrants were not crazy.

  36. Gregorius says:

    at my corner of the world, Masses #1 and #3 were EF Low Masses. Mass #2 was an OF with Violet Vestments, Sung Requiem propers (including the sequence), and afterwards a procession to the cemetery and prayers for the dead. Surprisingly Mass #3 had a bigger congregation than expected, including a lot of older folks. They were surprised it was an EF, and they didn’t like it, but only because it wasn’t their preference. They made no categorical complaint against the EF Mass or against the type of people who attended it.

  37. frjim4321 says:

    frjim4321, why don’t you have a Saturday morning Mass?

    When I got here there was never a Sat AM mass and since I am the only one here I kept it that way since it’s my only morning to sleep in if I want.

    A little more about the situation; we have two parishes rather close to us, both with two priests, and they have morning masses, so no one is deprived.

  38. Willem says:

    Four priests in violet/purple vestments. Novus Ordo Mass in Latin. Deo gratias.

  39. Vincent says:

    @JonPatrick, you’re very unlikely to find a black altar frontal as it’s prohibited to use black tabernacle covers in front of the Blessed Sacrament; you have to use purple. In such cases you can then choose the colour of the Altar frontal. Pretty much means there’s no point having a black one…

    I went to confession and an OF Mass which was run by a group of Oratorians who’ve just taken over a local church. Needless to say, proper (although polyester I suspect) black Roman vestments with burse and chalice veil. Also a proper Mass with parts such as the Offertory in silence *gasp*… Very good though, one of the best OF Masses I’ve been to, although I’d still prefer an EF…

  40. Eric says:

    Black, 3 masses, 9, 9:30 & 10 plus a catafalque.

    Life is good.

    Hopefully death is now good for a few more souls.

  41. Sursum Corda says:

    Hello Father,
    I assisted at Mass this morning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Littleton, CO (a suburb of Denver), a parish erected to celebrate the” extrordinary form” by Archbishop Chaput, under the guidance of the FSSP.
    It was a sung High Mass with black vestments and a catafalque. It was very moving and very beautiful. It helped me much in remembering the deceased for whom I prayed.

  42. Nan says:

    @frjim, I thought the anticipatory Mass was the perfect intro to Halloween. My parish is in a wealthy neighborhood that’s a trick-or-treat destination so there were a lot of ghosts, goblins, zombies, princesses, etc. around.

  43. Lin says:

    Our pastor wore tan vestments. And blue will be in vogue during Advent!

  44. bernadette says:

    Sang for a High Tridentine Requiem today. Black vestments and catafalque. All this in the archdiocese of Los Angeles.

  45. frjim4321 says:

    @frjim, I thought the anticipatory Mass was the perfect intro to Halloween. My parish is in a wealthy neighborhood that’s a trick-or-treat destination so there were a lot of ghosts, goblins, zombies, princesses, etc. around.

    They do trick-or-treat here from 6 to 8 so a mass before that period would rule out the work crowd, so Friday PM worked much better for us.

  46. James0235 says:

    It was that most Ordinary of Colors for the Vigil Mass of the 31st Sunday in that most Ordinary of Times.

    After Mass I asked Father what happened to All Souls Day. I told him that I though the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed “trumped” the Vigil of the the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. He immediately became a bit indignant and said that Sunday always takes precedence over a Feast Day. And then he gestured to himself (in his vestments) and said “I think I would know!”

    I told him I disagreed based on what I found in the Missal and Liturgical Calendar. He said we would have to agree to disagree. I smiled and said that would not make him any less wrong.

  47. James0235 says:

    In years past when it fell on a Saturday the Mass on Saturday evening has been that of All Souls because on the Liturgical Calendar it ranks before Sundays of Ordinary Time. But, things change, so I could be wrong.

  48. gambletrainman says:

    In the older Missal (1962 and prior) whenever November 2 falls on a Sunday, All Souls is commemorated on November 3, which is why there is no liturgical feast for November 3. The feast of St Charles Borromeo would be on November 4.

  49. M. K. says:

    I attended a solemn high TLM for All Souls; the celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon were all attired in matching black vestments. Great music too (Gregorian) from a small but excellent schola, and an impressive turnout including many who don’t attend the TLM regularly. All this at a small parish in the Toronto suburbs – for me, a very edifying way to celebrate All Souls.

  50. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Black at Assumption Grotto. I just uploaded some pics from the Solemn High Requiem Mass today http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2013/11/photos-all-souls-day-solemn-high.html

  51. solideopileolus says:

    Here in Bombay, India, it was all NO with violet vestments. Holy Mass was celebrated at all major Catholic cemeteries and the cemetery I visited had over 1000 people attending 4 morning masses and 1 evening mass. I’ve never seen it so crowded at any other time of year. Announcements of the indulgences to be gained and the conditions to be fulfilled were made at every single mass and the graves were blessed and sprinkled with holy water by the army of priests in attendance. I also attended Mass at my home parish where the priest exhorted us to not only remember the faithfully departed members of our own families, but also those souls undergoing purgation with no one to pray for them. However, the priest celebrating the Mass I attended at the cemetery chapel seemed to think, and made it quite apparent in his homily, that after this mortal life comes a great big celebratory jamboree in the hereafter. While we on earth mourn for the departed soul, it is surely in heaven rejoicing with all the others who have gone before it and so our mourning and hand-wringing over praying for its salvation is unnecessary. He also told the congregation that it is useless leaving flowers and candles at the graveside in memory of the souls and that we should take all steps necessary to make the person happy while they’re alive and in this world. Ironic, isn’t it? Such vibrant and thriving faith on part of the laity and such clap-trap coming from the very shepherds they are entrusted to….. The first reading from Wisdom was skipped at this Mass and I wonder why? The missal prescribes numerous different prayers for the Collect and at least two different Epistle readings. The priests here felt free to mix and match as they saw fit. The Gospel reading was the account of the arrival of the Lord in Bethany and His talk with Martha, where He reveals himself to be the Resurrection and the Life. The iBreviary website however prescribes a different Gospel reading altogether. Perhaps Fr. Z, you could shed some light on this with a post (they’re always edifying, may I say) on the Propers of the Mass for the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed?

  52. robtbrown says:

    Although I well understand the priest shortage in most dioceses and why many parishes are without a Saturday morning mass, the situation with no mass on All Souls is a great example of a Church in decline. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I went to mass at a famous church in the Midwest, beautiful and on the national register of historic places. The only mass on All Souls was the Saturday evening anticipatory mass. So much for the poor souls in Purgatory.

    That not celebrating mass on All Souls–when priests may celebrate three times–is considered acceptable is not only sad but also offensive. To me it is a prime case of the presumption, which is opposed to Supernatural Hope and a sin against the Holy Spirit, that infects the post Vat II Church. We don’t need to pray and offer mass for the dead because, hey, they’re already in heaven.

    Some years ago I was in a small religious order–Novus Ordo and known for its fidelity to doctrine. On ferial days often a votive mass of St Joseph was said, which was fine. I mentioned to the Superior General that on the first ferial day of the month a mass for the dead might be a good idea. The reply: “We don’t do that anymore.”

    The Church has moved from a overly negative anthropology centered on man’s sinful nature to an overly positive approach: I’m OK, You’re OK–we’re all saints! Masses said for the dead have been replaced by spiral hams.

  53. Imrahil says:

    The only mass on All Souls was the Saturday evening anticipatory mass.

    Which, as I remember from Dr Peters’ learned explanations, could just finely be celebrated as an All Souls Day Mass and (in case there is no precept for All Souls Day, but afaik there is no country that has such a precept) still fulfil the precept for Sunday.

    I wonder why on similar occasions, this approach is not took more often (in fact, other than for feast of precept, I don’t know of an occasion where it is took at all).

    I went to an FSSP parish on two purposes; the first, TLM generally, but the second: I went in the evening and was going to be sure the Mass formular would, indeed, be All Souls. I was not really in the mood of attending an anticipated Sunday Mass on All Souls.

    Going back to the topic, hence of course vestments were black.

  54. marthawrites says:

    My husband and I drove two hours from central PA to that magnificent Oratorian Solemn High Requiem Mass in D.C. where we were joined by our son. Confession was available beforehand and we had just come from praying at my parents’ gravesite at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery, so requisities for a plenary indulgence were realized in one beautiful autumn day. I agree with Nathan and Mike: the homily was catechetical, motivational, inspirational, and truly a gift to those of us who nurture an abiding love for the souls in Purgatory. The most salient point: sometime after we die there will be no one living who will remember us; who will pray for us then? THE CHURCH NEVER FORGETS. At each Mass we remember the dead. So pray fervently for those who have gone before whenever you attend Mass. They need us.

  55. acardnal says:

    robtbrown, your comment above at date/time group of “3 November 2013 at 8:57 am” was spot on!

  56. Thom says:


    Our current parish is the first place I’ve ever seen such a thing. Young, orthodox priest is honouring both rubrics and tradition.

  57. joan ellen says:

    Diocese of Kalamazoo, Fr. wore a black vestment, offered a reverent OF Mass (he knows the EF), gave a wonderful homily on purgatory, and invited us to place our deceased family and friends names in the Parish Book of the Dead as he will be offering Masses all of November for them.

  58. Nan says:

    @robtbrown, I was worried for a minute at “famous church on the Midwest on national register of historic places” but there was Mass and a First Saturday program in the morning so it can’t have been my parish.

    I brought flowers to and prayed at the grave of my local first Abp. on Friday.

    Yesterday at Mass, Father talked about remembering our loved ones who have passed. I don’t know any better than to go to the cemetery; holidays, birthdays, random days. I’ve seen the priest before but am uncertain as to his identity.

  59. Pingback: All Saints & All Souls Extra - BigPulpit.com

  60. Former Altar Boy says:

    White. But then circumstances forced me to attend a plain ol’ Ordinary Form Mass (that lasted all of 28 minutes including the mini-sermon)!

  61. mburn16 says:

    Purple works well enough for me. Penitential, but not too mournful for souls in Purgatory.

    “Our pastor wore tan vestments”

    Now this is an interesting one. I’m going to assume that “tan” was a use of the fact that “gold” (and, I believe, silver – can you verify this, father?) can be substituted whenever “white” is deemed an acceptable color.

  62. AMTFisher says:

    @ASPM Sem,
    I was at the Vianney visit! We had Mass a little earlier (needed to drive home), so the vocation director for our diocese (Lansing) wore the black, and the other V.D. (Joliet?) wore purple. It was awesome, first time with black vestments!

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