Current Readings
  • Acts 16:9-15
  • Psalm 67:1-7
  • Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
  • John 14:23-29
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Emmaus Room

Litugical Colors

As early as the fourth century, Christians used different colors to enforce the emotions and ideas associated with each season of the church year. At St. James, you see these colors used in the banners, paraments (the cloth that hangs on the altar, pulpit, and lectern), and in the pastors’ vestments.

Blue is used during Advent. It is a color of the sky and brings to mind hope. As we prepare for the festival of Christmas, Advent’s blue symbolizes waiting and expectation.

White is used for the seasons of Christmas and Easter, and other festivals of Christ. It is a color of light and brightness, bringing to mind the joy and festivity of these seasons and festivals.

Green represents growth. It is the color used for the seasons of Epiphany and Time After Pentecost. These two seasons, sometimes called the “Time of the Church” focus on spiritual growth, mission, and the teachings of Jesus.

Purple is an ancient royal color, and is also associated with repentance from sin. As we prepare for Easter, we think about ways to turn around, repent, and look forward to the new life promised to us in Christ.

Red, the color of fire, energy, and blood, is used for the Day of Pentecost (which celebrates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the gathered people of God) and Reformation Sunday (which celebrates semper reformanda—the always faithfully reforming church).