Passiontide Red

Most liturgical calendars, rightly and well loved by Altar Guild members, call for red vestments for Palm Sunday and Holy Week. A big city Anglo-Cath parish I know has “passiontide red” vestments -- a deep, dark red, in unadorned lightweight wool. However, here in the rural areas most parishes have, at best, red vestments that are bright with lots of gold on them – “Pentecost red” in my book.

A colleague in my former parish, not wanting to wear the festal red set, takes the purple set, which is lined in deep burgundy satin, and wears it inside out. I admire his desire to be “proper” but it looks downright silly.

My current parish has but one red set, very festal, lined in gold silk. So I have informed the altar Guild I shall wear purple, maintaining the purple frontal as well. They are aghast. Do others here think it will really make the Baby Jesus cry to see purple on Palm Sunday? Or does that color keep us all in self centered contrite mode vs. moving our focus to those might acts we observe?

Comments

  • BabyWombatBabyWombat Shipmate
    Oh dear -- I think I should have posted this into Miscellaneous issues. My apologies, and if a kind soul could move it there I would be thankful.
  • At one time, AIUI, purple was used for the first part of the Palm Sunday liturgy, changing to red for the Eucharistic Prayer (i.e. after the reading of the Passion Gospel).

    But if your red vestments are not Seemly Enough for Palm Sunday, by all means go with the purple!
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    If you would use those red vestments for a Martyr, then I’d have thought them not unseemly for Passiontide.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I know that some liturgical guides (I’m thinking RC and Lutheran) distinguish between scarlet (I think) for Palm Sunday and for martyrs and red for Pentecost. The books of my tribe, which are not binding, specify “red and/or purple” for Palm Sunday and Monday–Wednesday of Holy Week.

    My recollection is that the 1979 BCP does not specify proper colors, and that in TEC the “correct” color is determined by traditional usage and by, perhaps, which ceremonial guide is followed rather than by official direction. So it does seem like that gives you some latitude to say, “this is what we’re doing and this is why.”
  • BabyWombatBabyWombat Shipmate
    Thank you all. Very few parishes here have weekday services, and so the red vestments are normally used only on Pentecost. Those few which do have a mid-week celebration and use the propers of a martyr would usually use only a stole over alb. And yes, Nick, it is that question of "correct" vs "tradition" and I am the new priest questioning tradition, with no real need to be 'right'. Altar Guild and I shall have a chat about the impact of visual cues in liturgy -- all visuals, not just colors -- and see where we wind up.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Am I missing something here? Passion Sunday is the Sunday before Palm Sunday, they are not the same day. Passiontide lasts two weeks. Red for Passion Sunday, violet for Palm Sunday.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    BabyWombat wrote: »
    Altar Guild and I shall have a chat about the impact of visual cues in liturgy -- all visuals, not just colors -- and see where we wind up.
    I am reminded of that liturgical maxim, “the architecture always wins.” I am also reminded of Lutheran pastor Paul Bosch, who, in his Worship Workbench series, writes of “Ritual Clarity”—the idea that actions, materials, etc. either support or undermine what we say in worship, and again typically win out over the words.

    Good luck with the conversations.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited March 31
    The rule I am used to is purple for Passion Sunday, and Red for Palm Sunday. This seems to be a common pattern across denominations according to Wikipedia

    Though I see that Sarum use differed, going to crimson on Passion Sunday.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    The rule I am used to is purple for Passion Sunday, and Red for Palm Sunday. This seems to be a common pattern across denominations according to Wikipedia
    With the understanding that, as I understand it, Passion Sunday only appears now in Anglican and some Lutheran calendars. It is no longer observed in the Roman Rite, except in the calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. (And some of us never observed Passion Sunday as such.)

  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    Indeed in the present Roman rite Passion Sunday is the Sunday before Easter (commonly called Palm Sunday).The name Passion Sunday is now applied to that Sunday when the Passion gospel is read.

    the former Passion Sunday is called 'the fifth Sunday of Lent'

    the former Palm Sunday is called 'Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord'
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    With the understanding that, as I understand it, Passion Sunday only appears now in Anglican and some Lutheran calendars. It is no longer observed in the Roman Rite, except in the calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. (And some of us never observed Passion Sunday as such.)
    Whatever the position elsewhere in the world, in Common Worship and in the CofE lectionary, 7th April will be the Fifth Sunday in Lent, but marked 'Passiontide begins'. The colour remains purple with the option of Lent array. I've just checked. That remains so until Saturday 13th April. Palm Sunday is red as are the Monday Tuesday and Wednesday in Holy Week.

    If you're in England, this can be regarded as an authoritative statement. If you're somewhere else, it isn't.

    In the instructions at the beginning of the lectionary it also says that the colours are not mandatory - 'traditional or local use may be followed'. So you can do something else if it's your quirk to do so, but that doesn't make you better, more knowledgeable or correct than the church at large.

    Common Worship Daily Prayer changes from Lent provision to Passiontide provision but it is still Lent.
  • Pomona wrote: »
    Red for Passion Sunday, violet for Palm Sunday.

    As others have said, it's usually t'other way round.....

  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    That is strange, because then where does Passiontide Red come from? I genuinely couldn't remember the colour for Palm Sunday, and google said violet. Is the Passiontide Red then only if one uses Lenten array?
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Also, could someone explain the meaning behind red for Palm Sunday? I'm struggling to see how it's a feast of the Holy Spirit or of martyrs or apostles, which I thought were the reasons for using red. I honestly assumed white was correct, as surely it's relatively joyous for Lent and is a feast of the Lord?
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited April 1
    Enoch wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    With the understanding that, as I understand it, Passion Sunday only appears now in Anglican and some Lutheran calendars. It is no longer observed in the Roman Rite, except in the calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. (And some of us never observed Passion Sunday as such.)
    Whatever the position elsewhere in the world, in Common Worship and in the CofE lectionary, 7th April will be the Fifth Sunday in Lent, but marked 'Passiontide begins'. The colour remains purple with the option of Lent array. I've just checked. That remains so until Saturday 13th April. Palm Sunday is red as are the Monday Tuesday and Wednesday in Holy Week.

    If you're in England, this can be regarded as an authoritative statement. If you're somewhere else, it isn't.
    Sure. No argument. I was responding to “[t]his seems to be a common pattern across denominations.” My point was that Passion Sunday, to which @BroJames referred, as such is no longer “a common pattern across denominations.”

    Pomona wrote: »
    Also, could someone explain the meaning behind red for Palm Sunday? I'm struggling to see how it's a feast of the Holy Spirit or of martyrs or apostles, which I thought were the reasons for using red. I honestly assumed white was correct, as surely it's relatively joyous for Lent and is a feast of the Lord?
    Because the narrative of the Passion is read. The Passion —> blood —> red. Similar to red for martyrs.

  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    Pomona - part of the 'problem' of liturgical colours for members of the Anglican church may come from the fact that those Anglicans who are interested in this may tend consciously or even unconsciously to follow the patterns of the Roman rite which have changed even since the end of the Vatican Council and the liturgical changes of pope Paul VI in the wake of the Council.
    The two (originally separate) ceremonies of Palm Sunday, each still with their own Gospel, recalled first the joyful entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, followed by the Mass when the long Passion gospel is read. Since Palm Sunday is the only 'obligatory' workfree day of Holy Week it is the day when the Passion is read. The colour was Lenten purple but changed about 1970 to red.

    For Good Friday (not a day of obligation and indeed not a workfree day in many traditionally Catholic countries) the liturgical colours were black for the liturgy of the Word and purple for the Communion service. This changed to red throughout the ceremonies round about 1970 which is now almost 50 years ago.. Nick Tamen has told us why.

    Anglicans are not obliged to follow the directives of Roman Congregations and so you will find people equally claiming to follow the 'correct' tradition(should that exist).
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 1
    Yes.

    Ritual Notes (to which all flee when in doubt, no?) refers to purple being used for the first part of the Palm Sunday liturgy, moving to red for the Eucharist proper. This may well have been the custom in mediaeval (Sarum) practice,

    This (IMVHO) seems a little over-complicated, and the custom at Our Place ( C of E Anglo-Catholic) is to use red for Palm Sunday, and Good Friday, with white/gold trimmings for the Maundy Thursday Mass.

    This year, Father NewPriest is having an evening Mass on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, so I'll be interested to see what colour he uses. I'll soon find out, as I'm preaching at the Monday service...
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    This year, Father NewPriest is having an evening Mass on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, so I'll be interested to see what colour he uses. I'll soon find out, as I'm preaching at the Monday service...
    And you will share the decision here, I hope.

    When I compare the various service books and ceremonials that I have (I have a bad collection habit), I find that Holy Week is when there tends to be the most variation between different traditions of the Western church, or between different guides within a tradition.

  • Remind me in due course! I have a memory like the proverbial thing with lots of holes in it......
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    I think violet/purple would be more appropriate for Holy Week than gold-enhanced red, but that's just me...
  • Yes indeed.

    We have a nice red/gold set, but also an older set of darker hue, which might indeed be rather more suitable for Holy Week. I shall have a Quiet Word, if required, with Madam Sacristan....
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 14
    Well, Father NewPriest resurrected our antique (and rather splendid) red Cope for the Liturgy of Palms today, assuming the red/gold Chasuble after the Procession.

    I understand that purple will be used for the Masses on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week, with white/red* on Maundy Thursday, and back to red on Good Friday. White/gold on Easter Day, of course.

    I will report back on this Matter of Vital Importance!

    It seems that our old dark red set of vestments requires some repair/conservation work.....

    *We have 2 sets of white vestments - one with red trimmings, and one with gold trimmings. A generous gift from a much-missed Churchwarden, who died suddenly 3 years ago at this time.... JML - RIPARIG.
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    Obviously then Father New Priest has read for such matters of vital importance the directions in the Roman Missal.
  • :lol:

    He may well have done - or else Madam Sacristan is instructing him secretly in the Proper Ways of Doing Things.....

    Actually, we do have a couple of decent copes (including a festal white/gold one), so it's good to give them an airing. I expect the white/gold will appear at Benediction next Sunday!
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    Ah perhaps Madam Sacristan or indeed Father NP or both have read the GIRM
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I will report back on this Matter of Vital Importance!
    Please do! I was wondering. :smile:

  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    BabyWombat wrote: »
    Oh dear -- I think I should have posted this into Miscellaneous issues. My apologies, and if a kind soul could move it there I would be thankful.

    [hosting]

    Nah .. it's happy here :heart:

    [/hosting]
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I will report back on this Matter of Vital Importance!
    Please do! I was wondering. :smile:

    Yes, the weekday Purple Chasuble is being used for Holy Week Mass until this evening.

    Alas, it is of a really rather Ghastly Hue, not at all like our darker purple/gold High Mass set.
    :grimace:

    This isn't exactly it, but the shade is about right:
    https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-r75dscg/images/stencil/500x659/products/9791/11108/SOL834P__08975.1376676837.jpg?c=2

    YMMV.


  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 19
    Rather oddly (IMHO), Father VisitingPriest wore the red/gold chasuble to preside/preach at today's Liturgy of the Cross. Father NewPriest, assisting, OTOH, wore alb and purple stole.... :confused:

    But...but....we have a spare red stole...... :grimace:

    I think we may be suffering from Local Custom, or something, but I'm not intending to lose much sleep....
  • Father NP is wearing his own rather fine white/gold chasuble for daily Mass this week. Not that ours is unseemly or anything, but simply because it was made for him by a member of his previous parish.

    She did a Jolly Fine Job™, IMHO.
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