The Armchair Liturgist: The Other Advent Color

We’re talkin’ pink. Would you use it? Would you get it if you didn’t have it? Does the tradition of Gaudete Sunday make sense if we keep Advent as a season of “joyful expectation?”

Don’t delay with your pontificating: it’s coming up this Sunday.

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About catholicsensibility

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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8 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: The Other Advent Color

  1. Todd, are you baiting us by using the word pink? Someone’s sure to point out that it’s rose. (Guess I just did!) Yes, I have a rose vestment and use it and I even found a used rose cope online for our sung Evening Prayer liturgies on Gaudete and Laetare Sundays.

    For such a short season I think the dual penance/joyful expectation mix is an overload – a season in search of its proper sensibility.

  2. Kudos to you, Father – I have never met a priest who would wear the “pink” vestment. Most have implied they felt it impinged on their identity as “manly men”. I even had one pastor who said he wore it once when he was a young priest and some lady came up to him after Mass and told him he looked “cute” in pink. So much for liturgical correctness.

    I agree that it is a lot to put into a short season… and actually it almost makes more sense to put the rejoicing on the 4th Sunday, when we normally hear the most joyous news – the impending birth of the Savior.

    Musicians in our parish tend to “grow” the music – from quiet in the first couple of weeks, gradually to subdued joy, with more instrumentation and a different mood as we approach Christmas.

  3. Liam says:

    Ah yes the “what hue is rose?” discussion, in tandem with the “what hue is violet” discussion, though the latter is actually more interesting because of the history of what color dyes were used to make various shade of violet and purple.

    Thanks to the joys of the Internet, one can now see how “rosacea” was interpreted in the past. I believe that it was originally interpreted as a lighter form of violet, then one sees red vestments interwoven with silver to create a scarlet rosy hue.

    Anway, every parish and community I’ve been in since I moved to Boston has used rose vestments. Never saw them in NY and VA.

  4. Sr. Peggy says:

    yes- we wear rose. And it is wonderful to add something to the season as it always draws questions, which is a great lead in to the joy, expectation, etc. I find it a symbol that speaks. And real men can wear pink- though I think rose looks a lot better than cotton candy pink.
    And particularly when it is used for the sunday in Lent, I think it is great.

  5. Actually, my rose cope is of the hue that Liam describes above.

  6. Liam says:

    I should add that one problem with discerning hues of the past is the issue of how colorfast dyes of old were. Anyone who does watercolors (or other tinctured media) knows that rose madder and red-based shades are terribly prone to fading and shifting tone over time, especially when exposed to sunlight. In stained glass, the best reds were produced with use of gold, making reds the most expensive tint; blues were cheaper to produce, and that’s why we see so much of them in stained glass….

  7. Gavin says:

    Not only do I (as a musician, not a priest) wear pink for Gaudete and Laetare, I wear it all year round!

  8. Sitting here in a pink button-down shirt myself!

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