The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus began after the visions received by St. Margaret Alacoque in which Jesus bears His heart to her and how He aches for communion with us. He appears and expresses His longing to lavish humanity with His love, stating, “My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with humanity that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its ardent love. It must pour them out.”
The tenderness of this feast day follows the intimate solemnities of Pentecost, Holy Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi. Christ calls us nearer after the coming of the Holy Spirit, reminding us that He has destined us for communion with Him, and dwells with us even now as we are. On this feast, we simultaneously rejoice in His generous love while mourning the times we have rejected the Sacred Heart by denying His love. We spend this day seeking to console His heart, covered with thorns and still bleeding from the lance piercing.
The feast of the Sacred Heart always takes place on a Friday and is immediately followed by the honoring of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Saturday; though each feast is held with a deep distinction: “The main difference between the devotions to the hearts of Jesus and Mary is that the one concerned with Jesus emphasizes his divine heart as being full of love for mankind, but with this love for the most part being ignored or rejected, while devotion to Mary's heart is essentially concerned with the love that her heart has for Jesus, for God.”
The celebration of the maternal Immaculate Heart beckons us to seek greater intimacy with the Sacred Heart. We know from Scripture that Mary’s heart is a treasure trove of the most profound ponderings (Luke 2:19). To see refuge in her heart is to find ourselves guided by the little mother to console and love the Sacred Heart of her Son. Since Mary is without sin, “She is the only fully human person who is able to really love God in the way that he should be loved,” in which case she is our best teacher of how to make an offering of love to our Creator.
Here are some ways we can align our heart’s intentions and worship through what we wear on these days. Choose to reflect these feasts with only the color palette, only the details, or all the above!
The Sacred Heart
Color Palette: The priest will be wearing white vestments, some possibly embroidered with gold and red accents for this specific feast. The white for the purity of Christ and His glorified body. Gold reflects His royalty and priesthood and red for His Passion.
Details: Woven textures reflect the thorns woven around Christ’s heart. Any straw bags, earrings, sandals, espadrilles, reflect Christ receiving all of us even now—all our imperfection and woundedness in the promise of His mercy.
The Immaculate Heart
Color Palette: The priest will be wearing white vestments, some possibly embroidered with blue worn for Marian feast days. White reflects Mary’s sinless and virginal state as the perfect vessel for the infant Christ and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Blue historically reflects royalty pointing to Mary as the Queen of Heaven.
Details: Florals reflect the roses that surround her heart pointing to her maternity in its beauty and sacrifice of submitting to the will of God in all things even on Calvary. Silver jewelry is fitting to reflect the sword of Simeon’s prophecy, “And you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35).