Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Wearing of Black



Laudem Gloriae introduced me to an interesting new blog which some of you might really appreciate. Roman Christendom makes some beautiful comments about praying for the dead and the wearing of mourning. I am so glad that so many people still wear black to funerals; it is psychologically healing to have outward expressions of grief. At summer funerals I have often seen white mourning, which is also appropriate. Share

8 comments:

Elisa said...

Just writing from an oriental perspective...white (or yellow) mourning is the customary color for a traditional Chinese funeral.

Christine said...

On a tangent, Mary Queen of Scots's favorite color was white, such that she wore it to her first wedding, even though it was considered the color of mourning.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Elisa.

Yes, I have heard that as well, Christine. The first white wedding dress was actually worn by another Queen of France, Mary's predecessor, Anne de Bretagne, who was a widow. In those days, members of the nobility wore white for mourning. And until the French Revolution, white was the color of mourning for a Queen of France.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article!

de Brantigny said...

When in my Bohemian youth, I lived in Sicily near Catania on the east coast very close to Mt Aetna. I often saw little old ladies going into the cathedral to go to Mass each day. Their habit, was black from head to toe. Before Mass they would invariable go into the confessional to receive absolution. I often wondered about what grievous sin these women could possibly have which required absolution each day. They were in mourning for their husbands who had died, sometimes decades before, and unlike the women of the present age (who mourn for a month or so) they completed their lives by praying for the souls of their husbands, with whom they desired nothing more than to be reunited with in heaven. Yet what sin could they possible have which burdened them so?

20 years later I heard that Pope John Paul II went to confession each day. A revelation overtook me! I dawned on me as if the veil had been torn in two! The closer one is to the creator the more the pain of sin pierces the soul.

Pax

Anonymous said...

on an urelated note, does anyone know the proper etiquette for chapel veils? i heard once that black was for married women and widows and white for virgins and queens. is this true?

elena maria vidal said...

Hi, Cordelia! I was always told (by the nuns with whom I was acquainted) that a black veil was for weekdays and a white veil was for Sundays and feast-days. I know that many people now have the idea that only virgins can wear a white veil and old married women have to wear black but that is not true. It doesn't really matter, actually.

It is etiquette, however, for women to wear a black mantilla in the presence of the Pope. There is something called the 'privilege de blanc,' however, which was that, among women, only Catholic queens and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg could/can wear a white mantilla when being presented to the holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification!