4 November 2010

What colour?

Can anybody supply authority as to whether the Feast of the Holy Relics, tomorrow, is in white or red? I have found authorities for each ... as well as inherent reasons for each.

11 comments:

Fr LR said...

When in doubt -- wear gold.

Fr Levi said...

I can see why there might be confusion as to what might be most appropriate - doubtless some of the relics belong to martyrs, while others do not. Of course the same difficulty applies to All Saints, the colour for which is white. So, since there is confusion (& hence discretion!) why not, for the sake of consistancy, go with white (or gold)?

The Sibyl said...

Strictly, Gold is not one of the liturgical colours (but a super colour)so let's put that aside.

Using the feast of All Hallows, which includes martyrs, as a paradigm, as Fr Levi rightly points out the colour is White - therefore All Holy Relics inclusive of martyrs as well as non martyrs, as it does, should follow the same paradigm.

Diversity in this instance, is one of the little glories of unity in essentials don't you think?

I am interested to know the argument in favour of the Red...

none said...

I believe in the 1960 Codex the color red was specified for Relics; I think the principle of July 28 might apply...on a feast of mixed martyrs and confessors, red is used. The Office is from the Commune Martyrum.

Rubricarius said...

Ordo Recitandi etc for the Secular Clergy of Rome, 1919 = Red

Ordo Recitandi etc for Orleans, 1935 = Red

Ordo Recitandi etc for Carcassone, 1938 = Red

Ordo Recitandi etc Diocese of Angers, 1943 = Red

Ordo Recitandi etc for Clergy of Paris, 1943 = Red

Rubricarius said...

The SRC were asked in the eighteenth century whether the colour for the celebration should be white or red.

"Adhibendum esse colorem rubeum" Et ita declaravit. Die 17 Augusti 1771.

SRC 2492, aka SRC 4357.

(Not of course that the SRC should ever be taken too seriously)

Albertus said...

The Ordo of Pius X has ''rouge'' for the Feast of the Relics on 5 November. Though this Ordo is no authority, yet i trust, that its indcations are based upon ecclesiastical authority of which i would otherwise be ignorant.

The Sibyl said...

Thank you Rubricarius I think those references give us a clear indication of the practice at Rome and Gall. You no doubt, have a preference for Red in any case - I should imagine...

Rubricarius said...

The Sibyl,

Those happen to be some of the Ordines I have. It would be interesting to see editions from sources other than Rome or Gaul I agree.

A preference for red? Yes, actually I do. I think white is rather ubiquitous. On the Kalends of a certain spring month I believe red is essential!

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

Some medieval English colour sequences, as well as the evidence of the Edwardian inventories of church goods, suggest that in the Middle Age red was the rather ubiquitous colour.

Rubricarius said...

Well yes, Sundays after Trinity in red etc.

However, I suspect things were slightly more subtle. We know that the Passiontide red was of a different hue to festal red. I wonder (and I have little knowledge of textiles and their coloration) whether many old dyes faded to a dull red whatever they were in their prime?


That said IMHO there is too much white about in modern times. Best white for Holy Pascha (c.f. the unpleasant modern Russian praxis) and feast of the LORD and His Mother, and more use of red at other times please.