For all of the Catholics out there, devout or otherwise, did you ever wonder why the colors of the vestments sometimes differed from Mass to Mass? Well, it turns out that the vestments are not just a fashion statement, they are used to represent the mood of the Mass being celebrated. The color of the altar cloth and the celebrant's sash will be of this color. There are four possible vestment colors:

Violet - Represents Expectation, Purification, or Penance. It is used during Lent and Advent.

White or Gold - Represents Joy and Triumph. Used during the Pashal Triduum, Easter and Christmas, as well as Holy Days and Feast Days throughout the year.

Red - Represents Royalty, Fire and Martyrdom. Used on special Feast Days and holy Days throughout the year.

Green - A sign of Life and Growth. Represents something called Ordinary Time.

Vest"ment (?), n. [OE. vestement, vestiment, OF. vestement, vestiment, F. vetement, fr. L. vestimentum, fr. vestire to clothe, fr. vestis a garment, clothing. See Vest.]

A covering or garment; some part of clothing or dress; specifically Eccl., any priestly garment.

"Royal vestiment." Chaucer. "Priests in holy vestments." Shak.

The sculptor could not give vestments suitable to the quality of the persons represented. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

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