Tres Abhinc Annos: Funerals and Vestments (23-27)

Only two more posts to go on this document. Today we’re looking at funeral rites in chapter VI:

23. The color for the office and Mass for the dead may in all cases be violet. But the conferences of bishops have the right to stipulate another color suited to the sensibilities of the people, not out of keeping with human grief, and expressive of Christian hope as enlightened by the paschal mystery.

So the post-conciliar judgment on funeral color is neither white nor black, but violet. Ultimately, the judgment rests not with Rome, but with the episcopal conference.

24. At the absolution over the coffin and over the grave, other responsories taken from matins for the dead, namely, Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit, Qui Lazarum resuscitasti, Memento mei, Deus, Libera me, Domine, de viis inferni, may replace the Libera me, Domine.

Don’t look now, but no mention here of either clown costumes or second-hand lace in Chapter VII, Vestments:

25. The maniple is no longer required.

26. The celebrant may wear the chasuble for the Asperges before Mass on Sundays, for the blessing and imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, and for the absolution over a coffin or grave.

27. A concelebrant must wear the vestments obligatory for individual celebration of Mass (Rite of Concelebration no. 12).

When there is a serious reason, for example, a large number of concelebrants and a lack of vestments, the concelebrants, with the principal celebrant always excepted, may leave off a chasuble but never the alb and stole.

If any clergy would want to weigh in on these prescriptions, feel free.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Tres Abhinc Annos: Funerals and Vestments (23-27)

  1. Liam says:

    Actually, the color at that point was black or violet. Violet was being permitted as an option to black. So that’s not saying violet is it, and the bishops get the final say on an exclusive color. The bishops may stipulate an additional color.

    The maniple becomes optional. Lots of wrist wringing in certain quarters over this vestment of the ordained. Strikes me as a weird vestment, insofar the version in the Roman rite seems to gets in the way.

    And concelebrations are further facilitated by the vestment rubric.

  2. Gavin says:

    I actually do like white vestments at funerals. I guess that’s why I’m not a priest. Black is just a tadd TOO gloomy, it leaves no room for hope. Purple’s a good color, although I’ve never seen it used at a funeral. Anyway, these are all aesthetic observations, and I have no intent of leaving any directions for vestments in my funeral wishes.

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