What is Liturgical Colors and their meanings

Liturgical Colors

The liturgy of the Catholic Church is rich in symbols and meanings, which express what is believed and lived in the daily life of the Liturgical Year. In this dynamic of the liturgy, there are the liturgical colors that speak of the mystery celebrated and experienced in the Christian life.

In number 345 of the General Introduction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), on the colors in relation to the vestments, it says: “The purpose of the diversity of colors of the sacred vestments is to express externally, more effectively, on the one hand, the peculiar character of the mysteries of faith that are celebrated; on the other, the progressive meaning of Christian life throughout the Liturgical Year”. Through colors, the sacred liturgy of the Church presents its own language, which involves Christians in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. (Source: Canção Nova website)

The liturgical colors concern the altar cloth, the ambo and the liturgical vestments.
WHITE – Symbolizes victory, peace, pure soul, joy. It is used: on Maundy Thursday, on the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday, throughout the Easter Season, at Christmas, at Christmastime, on the feasts of the saints (when not martyrs) and on the feasts of the Lord (except those of the Passion). ), on feasts and memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Holy Angels, on the feast of All Saints, Saint John the Baptist, Saint John the Evangelist, Chair of Saint Peter and Conversion of Saint Paul. It is the predominant color of resurrection.

Liturgical Colors and their meanings

Purple color

The color purple symbolizes preparation, penance or conversion. It is used in Advent, Lent, Holy Week (until Holy Thursday morning) , and in the celebration of All Souls, as well as funerals.

White color

It symbolizes Christian joy and the living Christ. It is used on the Solemnity of Christmas, the Season of Christmas, Holy Thursday , the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday , the feasts of the Lord and the celebration of saints. Also in Easter time, the color white is predominant.

Red color

Symbolizes purifying fire, blood and martyrdom. It is used on Passion and Palm SundayGood Friday , Pentecost Sunday and in commemoration of martyrs, apostles and evangelists.

Pink color

Rarely used these days, it symbolizes a brief “pause” in Lent sadness and Advent preparation. It can be used on the third Sunday of Advent called “Gaudete” and on the fourth Sunday of Lent called “Laetare”. These two Sundays are classified, in the liturgy, as “Sundays of joy”, because of the jubilant tone of their texts.

Black color

Also in disuse, it symbolizes death. Used in funerals, it has been replaced by the color Purple. It can be used in the celebration of the Dead.

Green color

It symbolizes the hope that every Christian should profess. It is used throughout Ordinary Time, except on the feasts of the Lord celebrated in it, when the liturgical color is white.

**Explanatory note: If a feast or solemnity takes the place of the celebration of the liturgical season, then the liturgical color of the feast or solemnity is used. Example: on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated. In this case, the liturgical color is then white, not the purple of Advent. This same criterion is applicable for the celebration of weekdays.

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