From the Worship & Music Team
As I was trying to decide what to write about our faithful administrator, Angy told me that she had been asked by somebody what is the meaning of the colors in the church and why do we change them? As we join God at work in the world in many and various ways we are prepared and renewed for service through regular church attendance. At church our hearts and souls are nourished, fed, and renewed through Word, Sacrament, and fellowship with other believers. As worship is planned the lessons, music, and the colors are deliberately selected to help us learn the story of Jesus and strengthen our relationship with him. The following is a description of what some of the colors mean throughout the church year.
Advent: Blue is used for its references to hope. It originated in
Scandinavia, probably because purple dye was too expensive for churches to use. The alternate color for Advent is purple the royal color of the coming King.
Christmas: White is used, as a reference to the purity of the newborn Christ, and to our light and joy in him.
Epiphany of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Baptism of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Sundays after the Epiphany: Green is used for its symbolism of our growth in Christ. Green, in a sense, is a "neutral color," used when more festive or more somber color is not appointed.
Transfiguration of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Ash Wednesday: Black is the preferred color, since it is the color of the ashes to which we will all return. Purple is the alternate color for this first day of Lent.
Lent: Purple is indicated, as the stark color of repentance and solemnity.
Maundy Thursday: For this fourth day of Holy Week, celebrated as the institution of the Lord’s Supper, scarlet or white is used.
Good Friday: No vestments or paraments are used on this day, after the stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday night.
Vigil of Easter: White as the color of joy in the Resurrection is used on this night.
Easter Day: On this one day of the church year, gold may be used. White is the alternate, perhaps with gold running through it. The gold color indicates that this day is the "queen of feasts," unique in the entire church year.
Sundays of Easter: White (see Vigil of Easter).
Day of Pentecost: Red as the color of fire is used on this day when we remember the tongues of fire descended on the crowd in
. In contrast to the color of scarlet, Pentecost’s red is a bright color. Jerusalem
The Holy Trinity: White is appointed, the expression of joy in the mystery of the Triune God.
Other Sundays after Pentecost: Green is used, to indicate our growth in faith as we follow the teachings and ministry of Christ.
Christ the King: The final day of the church year uses white, a festive color of light, joy, and the celebration of our Lord.
As together we move forward in faith through our Lenten journeys towards the hope of the resurrection on Easter may God bring us together in faith and worship that nourishes us for mission as we join God at work in the world.
Chris Kinney AGLC Music & Ministry Team Leader