Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

COLORS, LITURGICAL

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COLORS, LITURGICAL - There is no special designation or sequence of colors in the rubrics of the Orthodox Church. However, the custom practiced in most churches is as follows: white or gold, usually brocaded are the most commonly-used. White especially for Easter, gold for Sundays, blue for feasts of the Most Holy Virgin. purple for Lent, green for Pentecost and black for Passion Week and white for funerals.

The diversity of colors is an inalienable part of the liturgical-church symbolism, a way of affecting those praying. Each color is adopted to a particular group of feast or fast days.  In our parish we use:

  • White, including in itself all the colors of the rainbow — is the symbol of God’s uncreated light. White vestments are worn on the great feast of Easter.  Also for funerals.
  • Red (or more appropriately, dark red) is used during Christmas Fast, on the feast day of the Elevation of the Lord’s Cross, and sometimes on the feast days of great martyrs.
  • Gold is the color of glory, greatness and virtue. It is assigned to Sundays, as the days of the Lord — the King of Glory; in addition, the Church in golden vestments notes the days of His special anointed ones — the prophets, apostles and hierarchal saints.
  • Green is the color of plants and a symbol of new life — it is used on Palm Sunday and throughout the feast of the Holy Trinity (until its end).
  • Blue — is the color of the feast days of the Most Holy Mother of God. It is the color of the sky, and it conforms to the teaching about the Mother of God, who held the Resident of the Heavens in Her Most Pure Body. (since the Mother of God is the patron of our parish, blue us often used)
  • Dark Purple is used at Great Lent.
  • Black for  holy week. It is the symbol of renunciation from worldly strife, it is the color of repentance and strictness to oneself.

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