Colours of the Church Year

What colours are used throughout the church year and what do they symbolise?

  • Over the years, the custom has grown up in some churches where different colours are used to celebrate each season of the church year. This may include the colour of the priest's robes, the cloths used during communion or the candles.

    st georges (63a)

    Green robes

     

    Green robes are worn at ordinary times in the church year and are a symbol of growth.

    st georges (52a)

    Purple robes

     

    Purple robes are worn during times of fasting - particularly Lent and Advent.

  • st georges (60)

    Red robes

     

    Red robes are worn during Holy Week and Whitsun (Pentecost) and also on martyr's and saints' days. The altar cloths will also be red.

    st georges (58a)

    White robes

     

    White robes are worn for the major Christian festivals - Easter, Christmas and Ascension Day. They are also worn on some saints' days.

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Our calendar year is divided into four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its special characteristics, colours and associations. For example Autumn is often associated with harvest, and the orange and yellow leaves that blow around in the blustery wind. It […]