Piece of History: Priestly vestments in the crypt

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Piece of History: Priestly vestments in the crypt
May 17, 2024

If you have visited the crypt at Leerhotel Het Klooster , you will not have failed to notice the beautiful priestly vestments hanging there. The crypt is located under the altar of the church hall at Leerhotel Het Klooster. A crypt is a space under a church building, usually intended as a burial place or to display relics of martyrs and other saints. 

In the crypt are various priestly vestments worn during Mass. The colors of these liturgical vestments not only refer to the church year, but also have a symbolic meaning. We will be happy to tell you more about the meaning of these different vestments. 

In the Catholic Church, there are several colors used during the liturgy. The most common colors are green, red, white, purple, black and pink. Liturgy is the set of prescribed prayers, ceremonies and actions that make up a worship service. Liturgy, therefore, actually represents the performance of the people's service.  

History of liturgical colors 

Pope John Paul II approved the General Instruction for the Roman Missal in 2000, explaining that the different colors express both the uniqueness of the mysteries of faith and the sense of the advancing Christian life in the church year. 

According to eighteenth-century Pope Benedict XIV, white was the only liturgical color until the fourth century. Later, other colors followed, but their use was not the same everywhere: in Germanic areas, for example, red was considered the festival color instead of white. In 1570, Pope Pius V determined when which colors should be used. His decision still largely applies today. 

The various vestments can be admired in the crypt of the church hall. So if you are in the monastery, be sure to take a look at these beautiful vestments! 

Curious about the different vestments? We will inform you about the colors and their meanings in subsequent blogs on the colors of priestly vestments.