I am not Catholic so it has been interesting to learn that when the Pope visits a venue outside of the Vatican a Master of Ceremonies dictates the outer vestments worn by the Pope and others involved in worship.

It was delightful to stumble upon this photograph of the Pope recently in Austria. What a splash of color! I don't know what the Pope's message was while in this moment, but when I look at the vestments I feel joy, peace, rebirth and growth. Personally I yearn for the traditional colors of the liturgical calendar to mark the rhythm of worship, but during Ordinary Time I find it energizing and stimulating to see the use of other colors. I appreciate this freedom and spontaneity.

Interestingly a brief examination of the use of liturgical colors throughout church history quickly leads to the conclusion that no pattern of liturgical color is "correct" in and of itself. For over a thousand years the church gave little attention to the use of color. White vestments predominated. It was not until the twelfth century that schemes assiging colors to seasons and festivals began to appear in wealthier cathedrals, abbeys, and churches. We can appreciate our history while striving to continue to worship the Almighty Lord in ways that are most fitting for the moment.

*please forgive me if I've bungled any of the facts about the Catholic church. I would appreciate hearing from you if I need to stand corrected.