Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Laetare Sunday: Pink or Rose?

It’s that time again, Sunday of the Rose. Another explanation for the colors Fr. Z explains:

As WDTPRS has explained before, the custom of rose vestments is tied to the Station churches in Rome.  The Station for Laetare Sunday is the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem where the relics of Cross and Passion brought from the Holy Land by St. Helena (+c. 329), mother of the Emperor Constantine (+337), were deposited.  It was the custom on this day for Popes to bless roses made of gold, some amazingly elaborate and bejeweled, which were to be sent to Catholic kings, queens and other notables. The biblical reference is Christ as the “flower” sprung forth from the root of Jesse (Is 11:1 – in the Vulgate flos “flower” and RSV “branch”).  Thus Laetare was also called Dominica de rosa…. Sunday of the Rose.  It didn’t take a lot of imagination to develop rose colored vestments from this. Remember, the color of the vestments is called rosacea, not pink.  This Roman custom spread by means of the Roman Missal to the whole of the world.

Oh, by the way, my Pastor’s vestments: Definitely pink. Sorry Father!

Leave a reply