Sep 16, 2004

Liturgical Vestments

Here are the official documents regulating the choice of vestments:
Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica tertia,2001
This document includes the adaptations of the USCCB as approved by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on March 17, 2003.

346. As to the color of sacred vestments, the traditional usage is to be retained: namely,

a. White is used in the Offices and Masses during the Easter and Christmas seasons; also on celebrations of the Lord other than of his Passion, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Holy Angels, and of Saints who were not Martyrs; on the Solemnities of All Saints (1 November) and of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (24 June); and on the Feasts of Saint John the Evangelist (27 December), of the Chair of Saint Peter (22 February), and of the Conversion of Saint Paul (25 January).

b. Red is used on Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion and on Good Friday, on Pentecost Sunday, on celebrations of the Lord's Passion, on the feasts of the Apostles and Evangelists, and on celebrations of Martyr Saints.

c. Green is used in the Offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.

d. Violet or purple is used in Advent and of Lent. It may also be worn in Offices and Masses for the Dead (cf. below).

e. Besides violet, white or black vestments may be worn at funeral services and at other Offices and Masses for the Dead in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

f. Rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and on Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent).

g. On more solemn days, sacred vestments may be used that are festive, that is, more precious, even if not of the color of the day.

h. Gold or silver colored vestments may be worn on more solemn occasions in the dioceses of the United States of America.

347. Ritual Masses are celebrated in their proper color, in white, or in a festive color; Masses for Various Needs, on the other hand, are celebrated in the color proper to the day or the season or in violet if they are of a penitential character, for example, no. 31 (in Time of War or Conflict), no. 33 (in Time of Famine), or no. 38 (for the Forgiveness of Sins); Votive Masses are celebrated in the color suited to the Mass itself or even in the color proper to the day or the season.

Now this is in reply to questions concerning Mediator Dei and the implications of No 62. I qoute:

"Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path...were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments."

It is quite plain according to the official document of the GIRM with the authorized adaptations for use in the dioceses of the United States that black as a color for liturgical vestments has not been excluded, cf. above GIRM No. 346(e).

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