How Green Is Our Green?

Now that the white, gold, and silver festivities of the Christmas season are behind us, it’s time to consider the Church’s shorter stretch of ordinary (or ordinal–counted) time. I hope your green vestments are laundered and burnished and ready to go, if not for today, then for Sunday, at least.

I have to say I’ve usually been unimpressed with the papal vestments I’ve seen the past several years. This sea-green shade has gotten a lot of mileage, at least on Google. I’ve seen images of the pope with a shimmering bluish-green, too. That seems even less inspired. At least the chasuble on the left is a relatively pure green, if lacking a certain gravitas.

But while this shade on the right is a bit more serious, it’s still a tad too light and too yellow for my taste. Olive just doesn’t float my boat.

One challenge is the Catholic indulgence for trimming green vestments in gold. You may feel differently about it, and I know that gold is well-intentioned. But the overall green+gold effect is just too yellowy and not quite serious enough for liturgy. It reminds me of the Packers, all too often.

Silver trim with a forest green is much better. Our parish’s new ordinary time vestment would be about as light of a shade of green as I would go:

Our committee really grilled my friend David Cooper to get something just right for us. The committee didn’t need my opinions–they were hoping for something a bit darker than the very darkest in David’s cloth samples. Here’s a closer look at that shows a pleasant green, silver lining, and a red-to-green pallette for the center:

What about your parishes, my friends? How green do you go?

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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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