Why do priests wear such elaborate vestments when Jesus wore such simple clothes

Vestments are an attempt on our part to be in touch with a sacredness beyond our wildest imagining. They take on a new meaning in the context of Jesus' transfiguration. Jesus, in humble human form, was suddenly transformed in the midst of a world that was ready to crucify Him and bring Him down; the apostles saw Him in His glory and power. When we wear vestments and clothes of celebration we are in touch with the Christ who lifts our hope to things above.

There is a variety of colors in vestments. Each color has a significance:

1. White or gold is for major celebrations like Easter and Christmas.

2. Purple is worn in times of penance during Advent and Lent.

3. Red recalls the blood of martyrs and the fire of the Holy Spirit.

4. Green is the symbol of growth and is worn on most Sundays of the year.

The style of the vestments at Mass reminds us of our oneness with those who have worshiped God down the centuries.

A beautiful church, a chalice, and fine vestments serve to remind us that when we celebrate sacraments we are actually in the presence of the Godhead. Although we don't always dress and act in this solemn and mysterious way (any more than the Transfiguration was a continual experience), we still need to try periodically to approach with awe God's transcending power through churches, sacred vessels, vestments, and rituals

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