Seasons of the Church Year

During Worship time we suggest a coloured cloth, appropriate to the season of the church year, is used to create the sacred space for worship. But which colour and when?

The church calendar is made up of seasons that follow the life of Jesus. The church year begins in late November or early December with Advent, a time of preparation for Jesus’ birth. In Christian churches one of four colours – purple, green, gold (or white) and red – referred to as ‘liturgical colours’, are used for altar linen, clergy robes and various hangings. The colour reflects the season, so that for instance in Advent purple is used, a colour of royalty because we are preparing to welcome the coming of a king. Purple is used again in Lent because it also symbolizes suffering and pain.

At Christmas and Easter the colour changes to white or gold, both bright optimistic colours for festivals, times for joy and celebration. Between the festivals green cloths symbolize all living things, renewal and promise of new life. And finally, red is the colour of fire, used in churches to celebrate Pentecost and saints’ days.

The table below shows which colours to use through the year.

 

Liturgical colours 16-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope this information is useful for teachers. However it is enough for young children simply to be aware that there is a cycle of different colours to celebrate times and seasons in the church year.