Saturday, July 14, 2007


Colors are a little trickier than you might think. How you are using them will determine what they mean. For example there is the liturgical color symbol language of the Latin Rite and a slightly different one in the Eastern Rites. Color symbols in heraldry would differ from other art forms. With that in mind we begin with the liturgical colors of the Latin Rite.

These are the approved liturgical colors for use in the west, White, Red, Green, Purple, Rose, and Black.

WHITE – White symbolizes innocence, purity and holiness. In Scripture there are many references to this color. For example, in Psalm 51:7 it says, “O wash me and I shall be whiter than snow”, and during His transfiguration Jesus’ “clothes became white as light,” Matthew 17:2.

It is no accident that Jesus after his resurrection wears white or that Mary as the Immaculate Conception or in her presentation in the temple or prior to the annunciation is seen wearing white. If the artist knows what he or she is doing, close attention will be paid to this in order to aid the viewer understand what is being depicted.

We depict virgin saints wearing white robes. We wear white at baptisms (the baptismal garment), and at First Communion (at least the girls do) and brides wear white to show their purity. (*Ahem*)

Liturgically white is interchangeable with silver or gold. Priests and altar appointments are white on Christmas, Easter, Feasts of Our Lady, and Feasts of Angels, Confessors, and Virgins. It is also used for funerals.

RED – We think of the color red when choosing a crayon to color blood, though why we would be coloring blood is another question. Therefore it is the color of martyrs, those who spilled their blood for Christ and His Church.

It is also the crayon we would choose to color fire (warning: if you spend your time coloring blood and fire, you may be sent away for counseling.) Because the Holy Spirit descending as tongues of fire this color is also associated with the third person of the Blessed Trinity.

Priests and altar appointments appear in red on Pentecost, Passion (Palm) Sunday, and feasts of Apostles and Martyrs.

Next week we will finish up liturgical colors.


Stephen said...

Saturday, 14 July 2007
Hi Father, Stephen here.
You and your blog are just one gift after another. You just directed me to E5. Thank you kindly. E5 is so good, it is worth failing at. I do not intend to fail, but if I do, I'll just stand up and start again, and again and again. E5 is worth the time and effort. Thank You Father.
Why did I not hear of this before now? I wish I had thought of E5.
Oh well, I guess I can not be expected to think of everything.

Dominus Vobiscum,
Pax Domini,

Odysseus said...

I share a similar excitement about e5. Somehow, and unexpectedly, I am much more motivated to fast, knowing that I am a part of a group, albeit an anonymous one, rather than just one guy trying to silently live out some a vague, directionless notion of sacrifice.

Adoro said...

Speaking as a woman on behalf of all the women who will benefit from your fasting....thank you.

Fr. V said...


I don't know what I am more impressed by - you signing up for e5 or you figuring out how to post comments! Cool!

Extra prayers coming your and Rob's way.

Only bread - it rememinds me of taking classes at the University of Akron and fasting with friends during lent. The WOnderbread Factory was right next to the campus. NOTHING smelled better than bread - what a scrumptuous meal when you were fasting.

In the seminary we used to have "penance days" during lent. We would have nothing but bread and soup. But it was HOME MADE SOUP and HOT FRESH BREAD. If this is penance, BRING IT ON!

Saddly I think they do it not now. Poor guys. As C. S. Lewis said, "Duty is none the less for being pleasure."

Blessings guys.

Pray for them Adoro . . .I wish more guys would do it at least for a little spell and see what happens.