What is the correct liturgical colour for a confirmation
in the parish eucharist? Some say white, others red, others the
colour of the season. At one confirmation in Lent, the altar was in
purple, the vicar wore a white stole, and the bishop wore a red
Unless there were exceptional circumstances (which, of course,
there may have been), Common Worship: Christian Initiation
does not encourage confirmation within the penitential season of
Lent (or the preparatory season of Advent), but rather at Easter,
in line with ancient practice, or at Epiphany/theBaptism of Christ,
or on All Saints' Day.
Second, the Rules to Order the Christian Year in Common
Worship indicate that white "is suitable for Baptism,
Confirmation and Ordination, though red may be preferred", and
notes under "red" that it "is appropriate for any services which
focus on the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is therefore suitable for
Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination".
Assuming, therefore, that at the eucharist in question the
confirmation was the main focus (e.g. of the readings), then the
short answer is "white or red". All should, of course, be in the
same colour. If the bishop chose red, that should have been the
choice of all.
Peter Elliott's Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite
(Ignatius Press, 1995) says that confirmation vestments "are
usually red but may be white".
(The Revd Dr) Ross Hutchison SCP
It is for the confirming bishop to determine the liturgical
colour for confirmations, together with any other details to do
with the service. If there is any doubt, the incumbent should check
with the bishop.
A good rule of thumb would normally be to use red in order to
signify the Holy Spirit, except during Eastertide (much the most
appropriate time of year for a confirmation), or during the
Christmas or Epiphany seasons. On such occasions, white should be
used instead. But on no account should confirmations take place
(The Revd) John Paul Hoskins
(Chaplain to the Bishop)
We have a hard-working and cheerful team of priests and
Readers. Over the past year or so, an elderly worshipper
continually complains that our sermons are too long: he would like
no more than five minutes, or none at all. No one else has
complained about our usual 15 minutes. Most people listen well to
and appreciate a variety of preachers. How should we answer this
complaint politely, but presenting the value of a thoughtful
Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question,
Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden
Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.