Friday, December 15, 2006

Are all Rose vestment sets created equal? Rose vs. Pink

We are quickly approaching Gaudete, or Rose, Sunday. This is that time of the year when rose colour vestments are worn, or at least may be worn.

I'm curious to know whether some share a thought of mine, especially priests and vestment designers, but all generally. I've often found too many "rose" vestments to be far less rose coloured than they are pink. It seems to me a deeper, almost purplish hue of rose (sometimes referred to as "dusty rose") would be more befitting the sacred rites, and also the masculine nature of the priesthood, and that the other can be quite distracting and not as befitting the former.

A case in point. Here is one such rose vestment, made with quality materials, but which seems too pink in my estimation:

Likewise, a picture of our beloved Holy Father shows this pink colouring -- in this case more accentuated by the fact that the material is not even of silk brocade:

Compare this with some images that I've modified (not to my complete satisfaction, but nonetheless) from two other rose vestments that where closer to this dusty rose, and even moreso now with my graphical manipulation:

The former is a set designed by an Anglican blogger who reads the NLM, which while of a lighter rose than I am speaking of here, either as I've manipulated it, or in the original, is significantly helped by means of the gold brocade design which is intermixed with the rose colour. This minimizes the possibility of a rose vestment appearing too pink in this particular case.

I am hopeful that these manipulated images will get across at very least the sense of a deeper, more masculine rose hue that I am proposing. I believe such colours or mixtures could be particularly ideal for Gaudete and Laetare Sunday, and for the character of the sacred liturgy.

My point here is not to dogmatize the matter. Rather, it is merely to raise the question about edifying ornaments in the sacred liturgy.

Priests often work with what they have, and in the case of rose vestments, they are seldom used or available, so this is particularly the case here. I am not maligning them if the lighter, pink shades are all they have available. That we see them at all in a parish is a cause itself for rejoicing at least in principle, as it shows an awareness of liturgical symbolism and its importance. But on that front, I wonder whether this might be better achieved by deeper rose colours if the choice is presented. I do in fact think so.

I would like to encourage our vestment designers here, and any priest, or parish which is looking to acquire rose vestments or has an option to use a deeper shade, to consider doing so, and to consider for themselves whether this thought of mine has any liturgical merit, as I do indeed think it does.

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