Fr. Z heading to Rome for Summorum Pontificum, also asks for input

A few items as the Labor Day weekend winds to a close.

First, I will be in Rome for the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage. I’m only there for a week and I will be REALLY BUSY for a lot of it. Just FYI before people get all worked up. The whole thing will be like a blognic anyway.

I will be saying Masses for my benefactors daily while I am in the Eternal City.

Second: When in Rome, I will stop at Gammarelli to check on another project, this time personal.  For a while now I’ve been wanting to have “travel” vestments made to go along with my wonderful portable altar made by St. Joseph’s Apprentice (aka The ULTIMATE Gift For A Priest -received for my 25th) HERE. Since I travel a bit, I’ve gotten good use from it so far.  (Note to the carpenter: the bookstand… I have feedback for you.) I have a couple trips lined up for it in the future, for which I got a hard Pelican case (thanks to a reader).

I am presently on a trip with friends and it is set up for daily Mass:

What I lack are travel vestments in the liturgical colors.

I had an idea: were some readers interesting in helping with the vestments, I would find a way to have your name embroidered on them or on their pouch so that you would be remembered in prayer as I (or a priest who inherits them) vests.

At the moment, I am contemplating an order or dupioni or shantung silk.  If I do it tomorrow, I could probably get it in time to take to Rome with me.  Otherwise, I might buy it in Rome to keep the cost down.   A reversible travel vestment with all the parts from Gammarelli would be about €600 (c. $715).  [To be clearer: €600 is for one reversible vestment, with two colors.  That’s for each set.  A couple of you asked about that in email.] Buying the fabric will, I think, cut the cost.  I may even have little antependia made, which would be fun.  The chalice veil and burse would have to be about half size, I think: I use a miniature chalice and paten from an old Mass kit.  The great altar cards are from SPORCH.

So, I also have to figure out the best combination of colors.  Considering that they are reversible, and that I use the Usus Antiquior when I have this altar with me, I was thinking

White – Red
Violet – Rose
Black – Green

Perhaps priests could jump in about the best combinations.  I tend also to use Votive Masses that need violet.  But we also have lots of saints who need white or red.  So, perhaps,

White – Red
Violet – Green
Black – Rose

Which would help because I’d need mainly two vestments.  But what about Requiem Masses?  Another possibility would be to add a couple more colors into the mix: Gold and Blue, or Gold and (repeated color).  Interesting permutations occur.  Trim will probably by silver all around.  It unlikely that I would be traveling with this altar for Gaudete and Laetare…. so… rose?  How about throw blue into the mix, for fun.

White – Red
Violet – Green
Black – Blue
Rose – Gold


I invite input.

Meanwhile, in the U.P. of Michigan, I visited the grave of a JESUIT!  Yes, I know.

This is Fr. Marquette, the great missionary.  Many of us in the northlands know his name because things in our cities are named for him.

Here is Fr Marquette waving goodbye to all the modern Jesuits, even as he wonders where on Earth they think they are going.

Meanwhile, which drink is mine?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Lepidus says:

    Did you hear a spinning sound coming from Fr. Marquette’s grave as he contemplates the school named after him (and my alma mater)?

    [Come to think of it there was an unsettling whirrrrr.]

  2. un-ionized says:

    All of the drinks except the one that looks like water.

  3. sekman says:

    While travel vestments from gamarelli are ideal, might I suggest the beautiful vestments from Altar Worthy. These reversible vestments are just what you are looking for at a much better price. I know you are most fond of Gamarelli yet for mere travel vestments these should more than suffice.!/Reversible-Silk-Travel-Vestments/p/65854498/category=0

    [Interesting… and much more expensive than the option I’ve chosen. I would have to see a set before I went with them. I am open to a contact.]

  4. Orlando says:

    Father I can’t see you drinking anything pink, well that you haven’t consecrated, you are (I’m guessing) a Martini neat kind of guy (shaken not stired)…. ahh you are in Rome drink them all :)

  5. iPadre says:

    Mine are:

    Red – Violet
    White – Green

    I need a Rose – Black

  6. Mike_in_Kenner says:

    My vestment color combination suggestions:
    Green — Rose
    White — Violet
    Red — Black
    My reasoning: (1) EF Masses in Green are almost only on Sundays. On ferias during a green season a priest is more likely to choose a votive or a Requiem Mass. Since Green is almost only Sundays, and Rose is only Sundays, that set is unlikely to get Monday through Saturday use. If you’re trying to travel light and your trip does not include a Sunday that would need those colors, you can omit that set. (2) White and Violet cover a large number of seasonal Masses, both for Sundays and ferias, and many weekday feasts or penitential Masses. Most of the feasts that can outrank a seasonal Mass in Violet will be in White. During certain times of the year Violet and White will be all you need. Also, that combination makes the stole from that set useful for many things that might come up spontaneously while you’re traveling: Confessions and most blessings, including blessings that start with an exorcism. (And when the persecution really gets going and you’re really operating on the run, that stole will also be useful for Baptisms.) (3) The Red and Black set covers the other Masses that come up with less frequency. There is more chance to look ahead at the dates of a trip and see that Masses in Red or Black can’t occur, thus allowing possibility of omitting that set for travel.

  7. WmHesch says:

    Since gold can be traditionally used for any white, red or green Mass, how about the following two reversible vestments:

    Gold (w/ accents of red, white and green) and Black

    Violet and Rose

  8. Andrew_81 says:

    Dear Father,

    My sacerdotal suggestions on the vestments :

    White – Violet
    Red – Green

    Leave off the Rose, Blue and Gold.

    First why leave off the Rose and Blue. Rose is never prescribed, but allowed on Gaudete/Lætare Sundays (Matters Liturgical, no. 119. Blue Vestements are permitted by Indult and even then very rarely. So, firstly, you would hardly ever use them. Secondly, the very notion travel items is exceptional, and why have special vestments made when it’s unlikely you’ll use them, and even if you could, there’s not any liturgical law. Just use violet or white, and use the savings on better fabrics or galloon.

    Why leave off the gold? The only “gold” that was liturgically acceptable was “Cloth of Gold” (ML, 113c). Gold-colored fabrics not made of real gold threads were forbidden (ML, 113b). You can get “Cloth of Gold”, but it is horrifically expensive. If you have all the other five colors, then there’s no need for gold, so again, save your money and make the five sets that much nicer.

    Now, why the ordering of the sets?

    White-Violet : This will be the most used set, so will wear quicker. It can then be replaced as a set. If Red or Green (more rarely used) are on the back of the White or Gold, they will wear even when not used, so you’ll be replacing 2 sets instead of just 1. If travelling during Lent/Eastertide, you could get away with taking one set.

    Red-Green : Red is number three on the use list. Green is fourth. These will wear about the same speed.

    Black separate, because it doesn’t make sense with any other set, and this way if you won’t be saying a Requiem you can leave it home without leaving another color off.

    [Thanks for the suggestions. In the Extraordinary Form red is used more often than in the Ordinary Form. However, I see your reasoning.]

  9. Sue in soCal says:

    Fr. Z, I’ve seen a vestment that was a fabulous combination of black/red. You might give that some thought.

  10. padredana says:

    Blue? You still haven’t explained your reasoning for why blue is an acceptable liturgical color. I can’t wait to hear your reasoning!

    [So! That’s a “yes” for blue!]

  11. Ellen says:

    I’ve been reading about Father Marquette. What an intrepid man he was. I had no idea he spoke so many American Indian languages. I’ve always loved rivers and its a dream of mine to sail down the Mississippi some day. Father Marquette, pray for your fellow Jesuits.

  12. knute says:

    Wouldn’t you be able to get by with jist a gold-violet reversible chasuble? Or is it not an option in the TLM to substitute violet for rose on Laetare and Gaudete Sundays?

  13. momoften says:

    I have a contact for altarworthy…you can email me and I can even give you a phone # for her.
    I have had lots of sets made with her. I thought you said you were thinking 2 sets of reversible vestments. If so, I would Green with the Red (green is probably commonly used, red, pretty common with the EF form. I am not that sure you would use Black, but if you thought you would–I would do Black with Gold. I thought you could use the Gold is allowed as a substitute for white, and would look much better than Black and White. For the 2 days of the year, I think Rose would not be ideal to use.
    You might use the purple realistically more than say the black–I would go for purple and gold.

  14. MissBee says:

    As I am probably not in a position to recommend vestments, I certainly hope the martini was a vodka/gin martini (which, if the case, is missing a cornichon and I CAN recommend that).

    Happy to provide any drink recommendations if anyone is interested :)
    Hope you have a good and fruitful trip, Father.

  15. pitkiwi says:

    Perhaps instead of rose (or to allow for a fourth set that includes gold), have two sets with white: one Marian, and one more general-use.

  16. mike cliffson says:

    reversible vestments ?
    Drumroll gravelly voice:
    Sorry couldn’t resist.

  17. corm_corm says:

    One has to remember that when a vestment is worn, the lining is still visible underneath, or in this case the reverse side of the vestment.
    That is why, for purely aesthetic reasons, I suggest the following :
    White (never gold) – black
    Red – green
    Violet – Rose
    Some of those combinations may seem odd, but in terms of a colour palate, and colours opposite each other on a colour wheel complementing each other, I think these would look the best.
    Although, the above points about frequently of usage and wear and tear probably make more sense practically.

  18. frjim4321 says:

    None, since I can’t find any Pappy Van Winkle.

    [Nor can anyone else.]

  19. JMM says:

    Father, did you get a chance to see the Father Marguette National Monument? I passed thru that way a couple weeks ago and saw it along with the grave site. It is not too far from there. I was actually surprised to see he even had one.

  20. KateD says:

    Maybe I’m looking at the wrong calendar, but it seems to me you would do best to buy two reversible vestments: 1 white/red, 1 White/Violet. With those color combinations, on any given trip
    you should only have to take one or two garments.

    Rose is only used optionally on a couple of occasions. Blue for pragmatic purposes has a null value. Any occasion which calls for black, would justifythe space it takes up. Besides, any color combination with black looks ghoulish.

    That’s my two cents anyway.

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