Author Topic: Vestments colours for Pascha  (Read 1663 times)

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Offline Michał

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Vestments colours for Pascha
« on: April 21, 2011, 06:10:54 PM »
Yesterday, the NLM website published some photos of this year's Orthodox Palm Sunday celebrations in Jerusalem: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2011/04/palm-sunday-in-byzantine-east-church-of.html. Some people made a couple of comments about vestments coulours in the Orthodox Church:
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Green = color of palms.

The Orthodox (especially the Russians) use red a lot -- most Russians use red for Paschal liturgies,,for example -- and it doesn't have the same connotations and meanings for them as it does for modern Roman Catholics.
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Green is also used by the Russians for Pentecost.
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The color schemes used by the Orthodox have been in some flux in the past couple of decades, with new customs coming into play. Red for pascha, for example, became universal in Russia only in the 1970's to the 1990's, and now it has begun to spread to Alexandria and Jerusalem.
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Green for Palm Sunday seems to be a Jerusalemite/Middle Eastern practice. The local Melkite Church, whose priest studied at their seminary in Jerusalem, wears green.

Red for Pascha among the Russians comes from the fact that the Slavonic word for "red" and "beautiful" is the same: krasny. The Slavonic Liturgicon tells the clergy to wear their "krasny" vestments for Pascha. (BTW--"Red Square" can properly be rendered "Beautiful Square/Plaza".)

Archbishop Dmitri, a retired OCA bishop, has a set of red velvet vestments with gold frogging he wears only for Pascha and Nativity.

The usual Orthodox practice is to wear white for Christmas and Pascha (or the most beautiful and ornate, regardless of the color), Green for Pentecost, Blue for Marian feasts, and dark vestments for Lenten Weekdays. Gold is the ordinary color.

But then, St. John of Kronstadt wore red most of the time because he liked red!

Are these statements accurate? I'm asking especially about the red (vs white) for Pascha. I've been to two Orthodox Paschal Liturgies so far (in the Polish Orthodox Church) but I guess I wasn't paying too much attention to vestments coulors... In this video from Russia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=005C6nbYxyY there are both red and white vestments at different points of the service(s) -- why so?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 06:13:39 PM by Michał »

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 06:29:45 PM »
What I've seen:

- White or Red for Pascha.  I don't see much debate beyond this; red is a traditional Paschal color (think eggs), as is white.

- Purple for Lenten weekdays & Holy Week.  Some traditions (certainly not Greek) use/allow black during Holy Week, a practice that I strongly disagree with.

- Red for Christmas.  I think I've heard of using another color, but I can't think of it.

- Blue for feasts of the Virgin Mary.  Some wear blue for Theophany, some red, some gold.

- Gold as an "everyday".

- Green for Pentecost seems very common, as is Green for Lazaros/Palm weekend.
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Offline Michał

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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 06:38:18 PM »
Thank you, Father. As far as red for Pascha is concerned -- is it really due to the fact that, as some person at the NLM website remarked, "the Slavonic word for 'red' and 'beautiful' is the same: krasny. The Slavonic Liturgicon tells the clergy to wear their 'krasny' vestments for Pascha"?

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 01:06:54 PM »
On russianchurch at Youtube (a really well produced site by the Moscow Patriarch's Video Department), there are a series of beautiful Holy Week and Pascal clips. During the Resurrection Matins service video, the clergy are vested in white through the passing of the Paschal light and procession around the Cathedral and into the odes of the Matins. During the Matins, prior to the Liturgy, the Patriarch and clergy reappear in red. Anyone familiar with this? In the Carpatho-Russian church, white is the liturgical vestment. Next time I am in the Church I will root around the sacristy for an old Slavonic Sluzebnik/Liturgicon and see what it says. I remember during the vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil on Holy Saturday that the vespers would be served in black vestments and the priest and altar servers would change into white during the Trisagion of the Liturgy to proclaim the gospel in white through the conclusion of the Liturgy. Is the Ukrainian practice as I described? Does it differ upon region?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 01:07:47 PM by podkarpatska »

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2011, 06:53:50 PM »
- Red for Christmas.  I think I've heard of using another color, but I can't think of it.

Father, bless.

I know it's traditional (at least Russian tradition) to wear red during the St. Philip's Fast, but is not white the color for Christmas, as it is for all Feasts of Christ? (This, of course, excludes Feasts of the Cross, which are red...and Pascha among Russians, which is also usually red. My OCA parish wears white for Pascha, btw.)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 06:55:56 PM by Benjamin the Red »
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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2011, 07:22:59 PM »

- Purple for Lenten weekdays & Holy Week.  Some traditions (certainly not Greek) use/allow black during Holy Week, a practice that I strongly disagree with.


When I was researching this issue, I found pictures of Greek clergy--including bishops--wearing black during Holy Week.* In fact, the black vestments you saw me post on Facebook were made in Greece :)

I think that it is probably more common in periphery areas (areas near Roman Catholic areas) since black vestments most probably are from a Latin source. I enjoyed wearing mine this year though. Why do you disagree "strongly" with wearing them?

* http://www.imis.gr/iera-mhtropolh/news/2010/Megali-eudomas-2010.htm

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D_2jO0Nf9gg/TawKt2k32oI/AAAAAAAACb8/eGcyqOZCRiw/s640/IMG_1028.JPG

http://www.romfea.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7870:2011-04-17-22-49-42&catid=26:2009-12-18-08-38-40



« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 07:34:57 PM by Fr. Anastasios »
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Offline Father H

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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2011, 08:08:17 PM »
Ukrainian practice is white for Pascha, and change from black (or dark) vestments during Basil Liturgy to white by time of "Arise O God."   The current Sabbas Typikon as used in the northern Slavic traditions simply specifies "bright" vestments for Pascha, not specifying the color.  However, older forms of Sabbaite or Athonite Typika specifically say white, for example, the evergetis typikon.   Changing from white to red for paschal Liturgy was a local Muscovite practice but has now become more broadly used in Russia as the practice has spread. 

On russianchurch at Youtube (a really well produced site by the Moscow Patriarch's Video Department), there are a series of beautiful Holy Week and Pascal clips. During the Resurrection Matins service video, the clergy are vested in white through the passing of the Paschal light and procession around the Cathedral and into the odes of the Matins. During the Matins, prior to the Liturgy, the Patriarch and clergy reappear in red. Anyone familiar with this? In the Carpatho-Russian church, white is the liturgical vestment. Next time I am in the Church I will root around the sacristy for an old Slavonic Sluzebnik/Liturgicon and see what it says. I remember during the vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil on Holy Saturday that the vespers would be served in black vestments and the priest and altar servers would change into white during the Trisagion of the Liturgy to proclaim the gospel in white through the conclusion of the Liturgy. Is the Ukrainian practice as I described? Does it differ upon region?

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 09:19:00 PM »
Christ is Risen!

Vestment Colors
From the Russian Church's Nastol'naya Kniga Sviashchenno-sluzhitelia


http://www.orthodox.net/ustav/vestment-colors.html

This complex Russian scheme is not followed by other Orthodox Churches.

Offline Father H

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Re: Vestments colours for Pascha
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 09:37:59 PM »
Father, I completely agree with you.  Black is found outside the "diaspora" in the Greek tradition. 


- Purple for Lenten weekdays & Holy Week.  Some traditions (certainly not Greek) use/allow black during Holy Week, a practice that I strongly disagree with.


When I was researching this issue, I found pictures of Greek clergy--including bishops--wearing black during Holy Week.* In fact, the black vestments you saw me post on Facebook were made in Greece :)

I think that it is probably more common in periphery areas (areas near Roman Catholic areas) since black vestments most probably are from a Latin source. I enjoyed wearing mine this year though. Why do you disagree "strongly" with wearing them?

* http://www.imis.gr/iera-mhtropolh/news/2010/Megali-eudomas-2010.htm

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D_2jO0Nf9gg/TawKt2k32oI/AAAAAAAACb8/eGcyqOZCRiw/s640/IMG_1028.JPG

http://www.romfea.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7870:2011-04-17-22-49-42&catid=26:2009-12-18-08-38-40