Advent Observances: Sarum Blue

Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical new and is a time when we ponder the coming of Christ in time, as the Babe of Bethlehem, and at the end of time as our Judge and Redeemer. The word adventĀ comes to us from the Latin meaning to come.

As way to mark this season of expectation and hope, we wear blue vestments. This is a recovery of an ancient English tradition stemming from Salisbury Cathedral, and so it is referred to as sarum blue. (Sarum being the ancient Latin name for Salisbury.) While the deep blue conveys a feeling of solemnity, because of its association with the Blessed Virgin Mary, it also conveys the Advent themes of hope and expectation. On the Third Sunday of Advent, we see hints of pink on the vestments, marking that Sunday as Gaudete Sunday, reflecting the opening words of the ancient introit appointed for the day: Rejoice in the Lord, always!

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