Saturday, February 15, 2014

Catholic Mourning Etiquette

We need to respect the need to grieve. To quote:
To name a few practices, the person in mourning does not go to large public functions, balls or dinner parties. Neither does he or she host parties or social functions during the mourning period. He/she does not dine in restaurants but can dine with friends at home. He/she may continue his/her favorite sport but the attire must be dark colored. A widow or a widower should not accept or offer attentions to the opposite sex for a year. I noticed likewise in further research that the other religions are also very adamant about this. If this rule is to be disregarded, all mourning clothing should likewise be discarded so as not to be pretentious to society. As to children who have lost a parent, they may continue with their activities like recitals and music lessons, community and church groups, sports events etc. However, dances and birthday celebrations are to be shunned for at least 3 months.

In the early 1800s, there were 3 periods of mourning: There is what is called as the heavy or deep mourning which requires all-black costume and no jewelry with colored stones. An all-white wardrobe is also considered as full mourning and may be worn in necessary social functions or in the country. This is followed up by the period called half mourning which requires black clothing with white touches or white with black touches. And the third period is the light or second mourning with clothing in black and white mixtures, grey, mauve, violet, lavender and similar colors, including patterned fabric.

As to children, those below 12 wore white during the summer and grey in the winter but to manifest the mourning, they were trimmed in black.

As to the periods of mourning, these rules from in Catholic Europe were exercised: A widow goes into one year of heavy mourning, followed by six months of half mourning, and six months of light mourning, for a total of two years. For a widower: one year of heavy mourning, six months of light, for a total of 18 months. Strange how rules for men are always lighter than those applied to the female gender. (Read more.)

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