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Monday, December 12, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name....

One of the biggest peeves I have is when anyone refers to rose vestments as pink.  The liturgical color of Rose is not, I repeat NOT pink.  While some may think it's funny, or some may think that it's cute, the reality is twofold.

1)  Liturgically it is incorrect.  I will go into that shortly.
2)  It is yet another ploy to emasculate the priesthood.  Men wearing pink is not generally thought of as being masculine, yet so many priests and faithful are quick and wont to try to diffuse this by making light of it.

Bottom line, it's not funny.  Those of us who are part of, or want to be part of the new liturgical movement, which is attempting to bring the Church back into a hermeneutic of continuity, must realize that while certain things are funny and can be made light of, anything which disparages a priest, unjustly is simply bad form.

So, as we look at the various blog posts around in the last couple of days, we see an abundance of "pink" references.  THE LITURGICAL COLOR IS ROSE, NOT PINK!!!!!

It is offensive and it is incorrect to assume so.  I don't know if I can say it enough, so I won't try to edit my outbursts about it in this post.

The Rose vestment serves a very specific purpose, so specific in fact that it is worn only twice a year.  It is worn at the halfway point of Lent on Laetare Sunday and it is worn at the halfway point of Advent on Gaudete Sunday.  The names of the Sunday's are based upon the Introit of the day.  What is an Introit, you ask?  Well, if your pastors were celebrating Holy Mass properly you'd know.  As it is, the Introit is the opening verse of Holy Mass.  That simple.  By and large most Novus Ordo parishes have abandoned the Introit in favor of the more Protestant notion of using a hymn to begin Holy Mass, which does not have an Asperges.

I digress....

Rose vestments are called Rose, due to the Latin name rosacea.  As for the timing, it is the halfway point of the season.  It marks the time when we begin to see the light of the Joy which impending.  The liturgical color Rose is a sign of hope.  During Advent, we know that Rose means the Lord is near.  It is a herald in the night, calling us to be prepared for the coming of the Lord.

If violet represents the darkness of night and preparation for that which we do not yet have, Rose is the dawn right before the light.  It is that time when the night is passing and the day is upon us.  We know that it is not quite here, but that the joyful coming is imminent.  This is why Rose is worn.

The Church embraces all of our senses in the liturgical action, in this case, it invokes our sense of sight.  We see the clear break from the darkness of violet and we see the beginnings of light, which is only a short time off.

When we look at Rose vestments, we should not see pink, but rather we should see hope.  We should not see something which is negative in it's application (ie. the emasculation of the priesthood), but rather we should see daybreak.  To assume that there is something as sinister as a homosexual undertone or something as diabolical as the emasculation of the priesthood is wrong.  That just is not the case.  The liturgical color is not pink.  It is Rose.

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