Have you ever wondered why we change the colors of the paraments in worship? First, the paraments include all the hangings, cloths, and vestments in the worship space. This includes everything on the altar for communion, the hangings on the font and pulpit, the swish on the cross, and even my stole! There are 5 basic liturgical colors, blue, white, green, red and purple with option of adding rose, scarlet, and gold.
Advent is the first season in the church year and lasts 4 weeks. The color can be either blue or purple but most Lutheran churches that I am aware of use blue. On the third Sunday of Advent we light the rose colored candle to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent.
White is used for festivals of Christ for the following days: Christmas, Epiphany, Baptism of our Lord, Transfiguration, Easter, Holy Trinity, and Christ the King. The color gold is sometimes added to the white to make these days even more festive.
Purple is the color designated for Lent which lasts for 5 Sundays. On Palm/Passion Sunday the beginning of Holy Week, the color changes to scarlet through Maundy Thursday. At the end of the service on Maundy Thursday all the paraments in the worship space are stripped away to remind us of the starkness of the cross and Christ’s death.
Red is the color for Pentecost as it represents the tongues of fire that rested above the heads of the apostles as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. We also use red on Reformation Sunday and ordinations of pastors as a reminder of the presence of God’s Spirit. It is also the color used for the lesser festivals of the martyrs and apostles.
Green is the most used color and represents growth in those seasons that follow Pentecost and Epiphany making up almost half of the Sundays in each year.
This Sunday is Reformation and the color of the day is red!
See you Sunday,