Liturgical color symbolizing mourning. Black vestments are used on Good Friday, to express grief at the death of the Saviour, and unless the rank of a feast require otherwise, at funerals and offices for the dead to show sorrow and sympathy. However, at these times the tabernacle veil is purple, as it is never allowed to hang a black veil before the Blessed Sacrament.

In art and heraldry it can symbolize solemnity, negation, sickness and/or death.

Black with white is emblematic of humility and purity of life.

A solid black habit could be a Benedictine, Augustinian, Jesuit, or a member of the Cowley Fathers. A habit that has black over white is a Dominican.

MLA Citation

  • “black”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 December 2010. Web. 8 May 2021. <>