Vestments and Rites


Liturgical  Vestments


 Alb - long white vestment worn by a priest

The long white vestment worn by a priest



The coloured outer vestment
(worn only at Mass)


Worn around the neck
Same colour as the Chasuable



 Dalmatic worn by Deacons
Worn by Deacons
Same colour as the Chasuable

Vestment Colours

  • WHITE OR GOLD worn at Christmas, Easter, Feast of Blessed Virgin and other Saints; also Masses for the Dead to signify Resurrection.
  • RED symbolising the shedding of blood.  Worn on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Martyrdom of Saints;  also symbolises burning fire and worn at Pentecost, celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation, Masses of the Holy Spirit.
  • GREEN worn during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, focussing on the life and teaching of Jesus.
  • PURPLE worn during Advent or Lent;  sign of penance and sacrifice in preparation for Christmas or Easter.
  • BLACK, not often used these days but used to be worn for Funerals and other Masses for the Dead.


The Missal

  • The large Mass Book used by the priest on the altar.
  • Daily Missal following a two year cycle.
  • Sunday Missal following a three year cycle.


Different Rites

A Rite is an ecclesiastical tradition about how liturgy should be celebrated.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church list seven Rites:

  • Latin
  • Byzantine
  • Alexandrian
  • Syriac
  • Armenian
  • Maronite
  • Chaldean

We belong to the Latin Rite but all other Rites are in Communion with Rome and hold the same beliefs although they have different liturgies.  Some are the same or similar to Orthodox. Although their liturgies appear to be different from ours, they contain the same essential elements as ours and if we attend one of these liturgies, we are fulfilling our Mass obligation.   If we cannot get to a Catholic Mass, our Church allows us to attend an Orthodox who are not in communion with Rome but whose Eucharist and priesthood are regarded as valid by the Catholic Church.  However, because we are out of communion with each other, they may not allow us to receive their Communion and generally speaking, they will not receive Communion during a Catholic Mass. 

For more information on the various Rites, see