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The Use of Color in the Catholic Liturgical Year

The sense of sight, including color, plays an important role in Catholic worship. The colors of a Catholic priest’s vestments help the faithful know that certain celebrations are at hand.

  • Green: The color of vestments used during ordinary time. (Ordinary time is the rest of the year that’s not the Christmas or Easter season — it’s still important, it just has an unexciting name.)

  • Purple or violet: Used during Advent and Lent, and along with white and black, these colors may also be used at Funeral Masses.

  • White and gold: Most appropriate for Christmas and Easter.

  • Red: For on feasts of the Passion of Jesus and for the Holy Spirit, representing red tongues of fire, in addition to being worn for the feasts of martyred saints, who shed their red blood for Christ.

  • Rose: On the Third Sunday of Advent and the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the color rose may be worn as a sign of anticipated joy.

Church decorations and flowers usually reflect the vestment color.

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