The Armchair Liturgist: Rose Vestments

What do you think of rose-colored vestments? Did your priests wear them well this past weekend?

Our V-G has a nice dusky rose, a shade darker than the Holy Father’s, but with gray banding of five or six different shades down the front and on the arms.

Much better than our previous associate pastor who used a pink stole, worn in the Arinze style, outside a violet chasuble. Major ick.

It could be worse, my friends. Can you imagine orange as a liturgical color?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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9 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Rose Vestments

  1. Gavin says:

    I’m a bit of a liturgical color nerd, so I wore pink (“rose”) myself on Sunday. I really like the tradition or wearing rose, I find it a very joyful color. To be frank, I didn’t like my priest’s rose vestment. It was a nice color, but it had this odd patern in the middle which was rather distracting. Of course, B16 is really in nice form there.

  2. Liam says:

    My only request is that, if you wear rose-colored vestments, do not comment on them in the liturgy. Commentary may have been necessary 15-20 years ago when rose vestments made a comeback after a 20 year hiatus in many places, but by now it should not be necessary.

    If you have questions about the masculinity of rose colored vestments, your issues may be more about insecure masculinity than hue and tint chips.

    As for orange, it is worn in some Russian churches during summer fasts. In the western rites, yellow was a liturgical color for confessors in the rite of Sarum.

  3. Anne says:

    I agree about commenting and explaining the color. We had a visiting priest this weekend who did just that before the opening prayer. Not necessary.
    A now deceased priest at our parish refused to wear “pink” because it was a “girly” color.
    Perhaps this is not the perfect color for this country but it’s not that important an issue, to me anyway.

  4. Gavin says:

    Liam, I agree. The whole “this isn’t pink, it’s rose” joke was funny the first 2 times I heard it. Now, not so much.

  5. Liam says:


    And the whole “this isn’t rose, it’s pink” critiques tend to come across as, well, not terribly “masculine” in the conventional American sense of that term. It shows a certain lack of self-awareness. Then again, unintentional irony seems to be a professional propensity of many church folk.

  6. Orange? How about with Hallowe’en? You could even do orange and black. Nifty!

  7. Liam says:

    So long as you sing the fight song of the Princeton Tigers as an acclamation….

  8. Some group in one of the “mainline” Protestant churches — either Lutheran or Episcopalian — was proposing Orange as a color for Fall, Ordinary Time, if memory serves.

    I don’t see that for the Catholic liturgy. I would say all but one of the colors we use are easily explained: red for blood and fire; white for purity (non-martyr saints) and a general lightness of mood (feasts, Christmas, Easter); green for the endless time of growth and waiting, counting the time till the Lord returns; gold and silver for most festive times; rose as a lightening of the purple times; black for sorrow and mourning.

    Only purple does not, to me, seem intuitively a color of penance, and Advent being only modestly penitential doesn’t help. Actually, purple makes more sense to me for Advent, as a “royal” color.

  9. D’oh! I forgot to answer the predicate question!

    Yes, one of my parishes has a rose vestment, and I wore it. It’s darker than the holy father’s, but only somewhat. Others call it pink, which I confess bothers me a little. Maybe I should laugh it off?

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