Pall on the casket

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Fr. Turner, I know that in the dioceses of the United States it is permissible for priests to wear black vestments to celebrate the funeral Mass. My question is about the pall that is placed on the casket, is it permissible for the pall to also be black? I ask because it seems to be a big disconnect between the words of the baptism ritual and the funeral ritual. At baptism when we give the newly baptized their white garment the ritual says “bring this garment with you, unstained, into eternal life.” Is the pall not a symbol of that same white garment? Thanks


A: OCF 38 says, “If it is the custom in the local community, a pall may be placed over the coffin when it is received at the church. A reminder of the baptismal garment of the deceased, the pall is a sign of the Christian dignity of the person.” 

The OCF does not specify the color of the pall, and the opening subordinate clause does not require its placement in every circumstance, but the baptismal garment is unequivocally white (OBC 63). It’s hard to see how a black pall is in compliance with OCF 38.