Rose – a color that lightens the mind and spirit in more ways than one. There is nothing quite like the beauty of wild roses in bloom. After a long winter of snow, ice, grey skies and the sub-zero temperatures of a Minnesota winter, roses in bloom are a welcome sight.
Roses blooming on a bright day in June serve as a reminder that we are not always in the midst of the grey grip of winter. Roses are a sign of hope and joy.
So too with the use of Rose colored vestments in the life of the church. Advent and Lent are Penitential Seasons. The scripture readings remind us of our sinful condition and our need for a Savior. Yet something special happens to the assigned readings on the third Sunday in Advent and the fourth Sunday in Lent. The readings lighten a bit. They remind us that we are not left in our sinful condition forever and the promises of scripture are soon to be fulfilled with the coming celebrations of Christmas and Easter. This change is brief – a single Sunday in the midst of a long season, but the break in the midst of these seasons offers hope, letting us know to hold on for great Joy will soon be with us.
To help serve as a visual reminder of these noted changes, many churches and pastors, through careful teaching, have made the decision to add rose vestments to mark these special Sundays in the church year. During the Advent Season, other things happen in the church. The third Sunday is often marked by lighting the Rose candle on the Advent wreath.
So why include Rose vestments? Churches are filled with people of unique and individual abilities. They learn and remember in many ways using their different senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell. In the church, this is often referred to as the sights, sounds, smells, and bells. Some disregard these things – the Liturgical Arts – as non-sense or as something unimportant.
The wise pastor embraces these things – the Liturgical Arts and uses them as an aid to reach and teach all of the Dear Saints under his care. Our Dear Lord surrounds us in a world of beauty and in His Holy Word. Should the church be void of these things?
My home church has been using rose vestments for many years now. When they were first used, our pastor created handouts that explained the history and use of Rose vestments and the names of the special Sundays. The church was taught to pay attention to the readings of the day. This continued for many years. Now, the congregation eagerly awaits the “special Sundays” when the rose vestments are used because they know these Sundays are different. They pay more attention to the church year, especially during Advent and Lent.
Now, can this simply be done through the work of the pastor and his teaching and preaching from the pulpit? Of course, it can if everyone in his church is an auditory learner. But his job becomes a bit easier with a little help – something that is a little different and makes everyone stop and ask a question or wonder why “Pastor is wearing pink!” this Sunday. It opens the door for him to explain he is not wearing pink. The color is rose and this is what it means………………….
The above stoles from the Ecclesiastical Sewing Collection are from left to right are: Bishop Cyprian Brocade and Tapestry Stole, Stole in the St. Ignatius of Antioch Collection, and the Coventry Stole.
While time is close for Gaudete Sunday 2018, but the above 3 stoles are available for immediate shipment. And there is still time to order for Laetare Sunday in Lent. Please contact us with questions.
Wishing you a blessed Advent Season.
Sole Deo Gloria