La Fede Della Madonna

The Meaning of the Colors

Liturgical Colors
According to the Roman Rite five colors are ordinarily used for vestments and other insignia, with three colors permitted as substitutes.

Color Symbolism Worn
White Joy and Purity Feast of Our Lord, Blessed Virgin, angels, Saints not martyrs, Sunday after Easter
Red Love Feast of the Holy Cross, Martyrs, and at Pentecost.
Green Hope Sundays after Epiphany, and Pentecost
Violet Penance During Advent, Lent, vigils outside Easter season, and the Rogation Days
Black Mourning or death Masses of the Dead, and Good Friday.

The Three Substitutes Colors are:
Cloth of silver, substitute for white.
Cloth of gold, substitute for white, red or green.
Cloth of Rose, substitute violet on Gaudete and Laetare Sundays.
Other colors cannot be used except by indult. Blue vestments are permitted by indult in Spain and Spanish America on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Varicolored vestments in which no one color predominates are forbidden. However, the rules do not specify particular shades of the accepted colors, nor do they apply to the linings or decorations of the vestments.
Recently, violet has been permitted for funerals to diminish any note of despair and white is now widely used as a symbol of the Resurrection in the same kind of masses formerly limited to black alone.

Scriptural Colors
It appears quite certain that the art of coloring cloth attained excellent perfection among the ancient Hebrews. though it did not originate with them, but with the Egyptians and Phoenicians. The following colors are frequently mentioned in the Bible: white, red, blue, purple, green, black, yellow, vermilion. White, scarlet, blue and purple were the four liturgical colors used for the sanctuary veils and priestly garments.

Some of the colors have a symbolic quality: white is the symbol of joy, purity, and holiness; red typifies blood, sin, war, and carnage; purple was an emblem of royalty and affluence; blue the color of the sky was in the dress of the high priest; black was the symbol of mourning. (* page 37)

Indult. Permission granted by the pope or local cardinal, archbishop, or bishop to do something not allowed by the common law of the Church. (* page 106)

Gaudete Sunday The third Sunday of Advent, so named because of the first word of the old Latin Introit which is the Latin of the verb "Rejoice." Although it occurs during a penitential season, it is a day of liturgical rejoicing, and rose vestments may be worn, the altar adorned with flowers, and the organ may be played. (* page 79)

Laetare Sunday The fourth Sunday of Lent, named from the first word of the Introit of the Mass for that day, Laetare, meaning "rejoice." This day known also as Rose Sunday because rose vestments may be worn in place of the usual purple vestments of Lent. On this day flowers may decorate the altar, the organ can be played, and in general, the somber spirit of Lent is lifted and a spirit of joy prevails. (* page 134)

Rogation Days. Traditional days of prayer in agricultural areas, the word itself means prayer. In the past, litanies honoring the saints were said on the three days prior to Ascension Thursday and special masses were offered to obtain a good harvest. (* page 102)

* All page numbers are references found in the New American Bible under the Encyclopedic Dictionary section

Robert Wheatley was a friend that I met on the Prodigy bulletin board. He was helping me look up information. I never did get an answer back from Robert about his request on my behalf to Vatican Radio. I suspect Robert dropped the Prodigy service because of the price increase. This was the information that I was looking for and trying to confirm when Robert requested the permission to use my notes.

Note To Robert
This is the information that I am looking for:

1. What feast day or day to begin hand making bead knot one?
2. What feast day or day to complete hand making last bead knot?
3. After hand making the first knot and saying the prayer for that knot, do you then say a complete Rosary or a third of a Rosary?
4. Do you continue to add the hand made knot saying a prayer for each knot, and then going back to say the prayer of the previous knots made in addition to saying a Rosary?
5. I have included directions for hand making the bead knots for A Franciscan Crown Rosary. Would this be the same type of knot to use for the bead knot? I don't remember what the knots looked like.
6. What color are the ribbons?
7. Does each color have to be placed with a particular mystery?
8. Do the colored ribbons have a particular day that they are added to the Rosary?
9. Do the ribbons have any similarity to the Scriptural Rainbow Rosary?

Note #1 From Robert
December 13, 1992

I request permission to send along your story and questions concerning your grandmother's Rosary to Vatican Radio. I have hit a wall in regards to the rest of the colors.
I have found several references to the use of colored beads and/or colored ribbons for the mysteries of the Rosary.
White for the Joyful,
Red for the Sorrowful,
Yellow or Gold for the Glorious.

Some of these references go back to the 17th century.
St. Louis de Montfort reference

White roses for "Hail Marys" and red roses for "Our Fathers".

I found 3 references to the colors, they were all the same with one exception. I found the color for the Joyful Mysteries to be white in all references but one, which was green or white, with no explanation given for green.
The reason for Vatican Radio is I listen to it almost every night on my short-wave radio. They have a part where they answer questions concerning ALL ASPECTS of our faith and promise a written reply to ALL questions that are submitted. I figured this was the best place to try next. I don't know how long it will take though. I will await your reply before writing the letter.

God Alone! To Jesus Through Mary. Robert Wheatley

Note #2 From Robert
The Crown Rosary is available from Franciscan Resources
The number is 1-800-772-6910.
The Leaflet Missal Company sells several books on The Scriptural Rosary.
The phone number is 1-800-328-9582.
I am still looking for the Rainbow Rosary.
They also have The Beautiful Gate Rosary.
I hope this helps.

God Alone! To Jesus Through Mary. Robert Wheatley

Note #3 From Robert
The references on The Franciscan Crown Rosary were from The Catholic Encyclopedia. A Franciscan Crown Rosary has 7 decades on it for the 7 Joys and the 7 Sorrows of Mary

The Seven Joys of Mary:

1 The Annunciation,
2 The Visitation,
3 The Birth of Our Lord,
4 The Adoration of the Magi,
5 The Finding in the Temple,
6 The Resurrection,
7 And as one mystery; The Assumption & Coronation.

Seven Sorrows of Mary:
There are seven sorrows which Mary suffered as the Mother of God.

1 The prophecy of Simeon;
2 The flight into Egypt;
3 The loss of Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem
4 The meeting of Mary and Jesus on His way to Calvary
5 Mary standing at the foot of the cross
6 The removal of Christ's Body from the cross
7 The burial of Jesus.

In 1817 the devotion to the Seven Sorrows was approved for the Roman Catholic Church. Here in the United States the Via Dolorosa, incorporated into the Novena to the Sorrowful Mother, has attained considerable popularity. In addition, the Sorrows of Mary are mediated upon in a Rosary. (Friday of Passion Week - The Seven Sorrows)

God Alone! To Jesus Through Mary. Robert Wheatley

Franciscan Crown Rosary
I found information on the Bulletin Board through Prodigy for making the Franciscan Crown Rosary by accident..
I don't remember what the beads looked like but I am suspecting that this would be how to make the knot that I am looking for my grandmother's Rosary, too.

Bead knots for making A Franciscan Crown Rosary are as follows.
Start in the inner ring with the 7 decades.
Starting about 6 inches from 1 end, hold the short end in one hand.
Then wrap the longer end around the index finger, each loop closer to the hand with the short end along the finger & under the loops.
Hail Mary knots are wrapped 3 times,
Our Father knots 5 times,
The bottom of the cross 7 times.
Pull the 1st loop-the one that was at the end of the finger-out so the other loops line up against the cord, then pull the long end to tighten.

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