Wednesday, November 17, 2010


There's a family further up our street, appropriately named "Rose". (We don't live on Rose Street, but the usual way to our home on Spruce Street is to drive up Rose Street. However, the appropriateness arises because this is about various colors, including rose.) The parents are unable to have children of their own, and adopted a daughter, who recently celebrated her second birthday.

By a happy coincidence, there was a young single mother, not a blood relation, but related through a "blended marriage", who couldn't afford to give up her forty-hour-a-week job if she were to be a "stay at home mom". When she is old enough, the little girl will be told that the loving woman she knows as a family friend is, in fact, her birth mother. We were lucky enough to get to know both adoptive and birth mother at this happy birthday party.

The little girl has already developed a color sense, and is particularly fond of pink and purple. Her home was decorated with approximately those two colors, mainly with balloons. All guests were asked to wear, if possible, those two colors, and I changed into a pink shirt. Barbara wore a beautiful top which incorporated a variety of colors, including those requested.

Looking around the room, I saw many variants, ranging from violet to crimson. The word "purple" is in fashion, for those states that are neither as blue as California or as red as Texas. No doubt some of you have read Alice Walker's best-seller The Color Purple, or seen the movie: purple is in fashion.

In the Episcopal Church, where we elect our bishops, we use the expression, "will be wearing a purple shirt", for someone who has been elected bishop. You will see bishops wearing that same variety of colors, from violet to crimson. There is no strict rule about this, but I do wonder why the various outfitters that specialize in clerical clothing don't get together and decide one consistent shade.

Rose is a pretty color. The Episcopal Church has a "penitential" season (Lent), when purple vestments are usual-- or (as my parish prefers) "Lenten Array", a "natural" off-white. In many places, including my parish, the Fourth Sunday in Lent sees vestments in rose, denoting the relaxing of the strict (or not so strict!) rules of fasting still complied with by many Christians.

The Season of Advent is properly not considered one of penitence, although one may see purple vestments in many churches. Rather, it should be a time of patient, watchful, waiting for Christmas. The Third Sunday in Advent is the Rose Sunday in Advent.

I am looking forward to Rose Sunday next month, as for the first time the Presider and the Assisting Priest will be wearing rose stoles (the long scarves they wear).

All this reminds me: next summer I must serve some of the Rosé wine that isn't very popular--although some that isn't sweet is much to my taste. I have about a dozen bottles in my cellar, great for quaffing on a hot day.

1 comment:

  1. re: varieties of purple shirts -- some people look better in the almost blue purple whereas others look better in the red side of the spectrum - so it is good to have the variety IMO