Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Immaculate Conception A.D. 2014

We rejoice with the entire Philippine archipelago! We greet each other, perpetuating the manner of our ancestors ¡Ave, María Purísima! and ¡Sin pecado concebida!

On 8 December 2014, feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Principal and Universal Patroness of the Philippine Islands, a day of obligation in the entire archipelago, Mass was celebrated at the Parish of the Holy Family in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines.

At the beginning of the Mass.

[Note: The colour used here is called the liturgical blue. Actual colour used here is caerulean (RGB: 0, 63, 255), which coincides with the colour indicated in the indult (in Latin, caeruleus). Another colour commonly used is celeste (RGB: 178, 255, 255), much lighter than caerulean, which coincides with the Spanish usage (in Spanish, celeste or azul celeste).

Liturgical blue is never to be conflated with what most of us understand as blue (RGB: 0, 0, 255). Blue and its deeper relatives—for example, ultramarine (RGB: 63, 0, 255) or navy blue (RGB: 0, 0, 128)—should never be considered as substitutes to liturgical blue. These deeper shades of blue can only be used as substitutes to Advent purple (closer to blue) but not to Lenten purple (closer to red).

The different treatment of the liturgical purple in the Philippines probably came about with the transfer of power from Spanish to American. Spanish purple, morado, has always been closer to blue, which was not the purple followed throughout Christendom. Historically, the intensity of the colour purple depended on the available material for the pigment, and the Spaniards happened to have a source that produced purple close to blue. Spanish bishops actually resented when Pope Pius XII required them to abandon their purple and follow the Roman purple, just as Spanish priests resented the imposition of the fascia upon their clerical attire.

When the Americans came, they naturally brought their purple with them. So a compromise came about to accommodate both tinctures of purple. The darker, bluish purple was assigned to Advent (probably, to symbolise darkness before the Advent of Christ); while the lighter, reddish purple went to Lent (probably to symbolise the Blood of Christ spilt during His Passion).]

At the Epistle and at the Gospel.

At the Consecration.

At the distribution of Holy Communion.

At the Last Gospel.

After Mass, the Consecration of the Philippine Islands to the Immaculate Mother of God was renewed, in accordance with decree number 563 of the First Plenary Council of the Philippine Islands.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

All photos © Maurice Joseph M. Almadrones


  1. Is blue allowed for all Masses in honor of our Lady?

  2. they mention an indult, but not which one nor whether it's still applicable. Fr. Z seems to suggest it was revoked.

    it would be nice to have some clarity on this, because the vestments are quite beautiful.

  3. Wonderful photographs! Where can I find the text of the indult? You indicate that it is very detailed in its prescriptions - very interesting.

  4. Hi, Father Jojo, blue is only allowed for the Immaculate Conception.

    Hi, Michael, the indult of the Philippines is perpetual. The privilege itself can only be obtained by places which were previously part of the Spanish Empire.

    Hi, Chatto, the cerulean privilege, while a privilege of Spain, is granted only to those who petition it. As to the prescription of what shade of blue is used, this is attested by history. You may check the text of the indult for the Philippines in the link below: