Colours of the Church Year

St. John’s, like other liturgical churches, follows the Christian church year.  The church year invites Christians to reflect on different periods and events in the life of Christ. Each season or event in the church year reminds us of a pivotal time in the life and ministry of Jesus. Following the church year allows Christians to deepen our faith as we take the time to focus and reflect on what Jesus means for us and our world, and what he went through on earth.


Some of the colours only appear on one specific day of the year so are hard to spot on this calendar. The exact dates of each colour vary each year except for Christmas and Epiphany.


Blue is used during the season of Advent and is the color of royalty to welcome the coming of a King.

Rose (or pink) symbolizes joy and happiness and is often used for the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for “Rejoice”. Gaudete Sunday comes after the mid-point of Advent and is a time to rejoice that the birth of our Savior (Christmas) is coming near.

White symbolizes light, purity, holiness, triumph, joy and virtue and is used for all high Holy Days and festival days, including the seasons of Christmas and Easter. White may also be used throughout the year for baptisms, marriages, and funerals (as a symbol of the resurrection).

Green symbolizes growth, eternal life, hope, the renewal of vegetation and generally of living things and the promise of new life. It is used for the season of Epiphany and Ordinary Time.

Purple can symbolize pain, suffering, and therefore mourning and penitence. It is used for the season of Lent. It is also the color of royalty, and can be used during Advent.

Red symbolizes both fire and the blood of the martyrs and is used for Pentecost and for saints days commemorating martyrs.

Black represents death and mourning, and the color black is a lack of color. It can be used on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.



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