St. Joseph Cathedral was resplendent with color during the installation Mass of Bishop Michael G. Duca on Aug. 24.

And that was just the colors of the clergy members’ vestments.

The nearly 20 bishops in attendance, including Bishop Duca and Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans as well as Bishop Robert W. Muench, were wearing their bright red vestments, certainly fitting for such a joyous occasion.

The priests and deacons were in gold and white, providing an appropriate compliment to the red of the bishops.

The gold and white vestments are festive colors that are used not only on special celebrations, such as installations and ordinations, but also at Christmas, Easter, baptisms, confirmations and weddings. Those colors may also be worn on the feast day of some of the church’s greatest saints.

Red is traditionally associated with Pentecost Sunday, denoting the Holy Spirit. But red is also worn on other occasions, including the feast day of martyrs and occasionally on Good Friday.

Since we currently are in the midst of Ordinary Time, green is the color du jour, and for the most part will be until the First Sunday of Advent, when clergy members switch to purple. Purple is also worn during Lent, the most solemn time of the liturgical year, and occasionally at funerals.

Just about everywhere else, purple is considered a somber color, but that would rank as blasphemy in Baton Rouge.

No matter the color, the priest is always at his brightest when he turns and welcomes the congregation for the celebration of the liturgy.