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Liturgical Style - Advent

The world throws us in a flurry of “to-dos” and everything seems to not be good enough. We are able to find solace in the Advent readings, looking backward to the Old Testament anticipation of the Messiah and forward to Revelation, the Second Coming of Christ. We are able to find rest in the knowledge that what God has done, He wants to do again. He fulfills His words from the Old Testament in the New. He keeps His promises. All the readings of past and future apply to the present with a preparation for our own death in this season of wintery repose, hence why many themes in the readings urge us towards vigilance.

Consider wearing the following as an expression of preparation, anticipation, and vigilance.

Color Palette:

Weeks 1 & 2: Mulberry, Plum, Violet

Week 3: Rose & Mauve

Week 4: Violet & Navy

We cloak ourselves with darker shades of winter to reflect the pain and desperation of the world, wearily seeking to hope in all God has promised. Shades of blue parallel the nearness of Our Lady in this season, she who is willing to carry us when we are too weak to walk. The varying purples reflect the simultaneous royal honoring and penitential offerings we offer to Christ. Rev. Nicholas Gihr discusses the significance of the colors throughout the Liturgical Year in his work, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically and Ascetically Explained, he states:

“The dark somber violet color is intended principally for the seasons of Advent and Lent. The observance of Advent is, indeed, enlivened with manifold tones of ever increasing joyousness, since we have the comforting certainty that our Lord Himself will come and redeem us, and that we shall soon behold His glory full of grace and truth. Nevertheless, Advent prominently bears the stamp of a holy penitential grief, and of a sorrowful and longing desire for redemption from sin and its oppressive misery. The chief duty during the season of Advent is to employ its days in cleansing perfectly the heart and in preparing a worthy dwelling-place for the coming Saviour.”

We adorn ourselves in violet paralleling the yearning of our hearts for the coming of Christ. The third week of Advent we celebrate Gaudete Sunday in which we dress up in rosy attire rejoicing that Christ is coming soon.

Materials and Textures:

Wear silk to reflect on the pricelessness of God becoming man so that we might know our own dignity. Wool for the protection God provides us during the stormy dark nights of this season through the cloak of Joseph’s intercession. Leather for perseverance during the rocky journey to Bethlehem.

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