My pastor said to me, “if you give me a good enough reason why I should wear black vestments on All Souls’ Day, I will do it.”
What, exactly, would you recommend I tell him?
My mind is spinning a bit.
Black does not have to be defended. It has been the use of the Church for a thousand years.
Liturgical colors have their meanings.
The use of black, reminds us of how we must die to the things of this world.
It reminds us to pray for the deceased rather than assume that they have automatically entered the bliss of heaven. Masses are for the dead more than they are for some emotional need we might have (or want to avoid).
It reminds us of the reserve and dignity we should have in the moment of a funeral, Requiem.
It reminds us that we, too, must pass through death.
They are beautiful.
62. Assuredly it is a wise and most laudable thing to return in spirit and affection to the sources of the sacred liturgy. For research in this field of study, by tracing it back to its origins, contributes valuable assistance towards a more thorough and careful investigation of the significance of feast-days, and of the meaning of the texts and sacred ceremonies employed on their occasion. But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer’s body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.
I urge priests to use black.
I urge laypeople to request the use of black.
I urge laypeople to rally together and purchase beautiful black vestments for their parishes.