Liturgical Colors – Ordinary Time

Ordinary Time

After Corpus Christi, we return to using the green vestments of Ordinary Time on Sundays. Changing colors give a sense of the progress of faith through the seasons of life. For centuries, the number of colors and the reasons underlying them were left to local custom. Over time, we settled on six colors to express the character of a day or season: white, red, green, violet, black, and rose.

What does the color green suggest to you? Green is new growth, olives, evergreens, glistening emeralds, ripening pears, and fields at high summer. It suggests renewal, healing, fertility, peace, and harmony. In medieval Europe, green was the favorite color for brides! Did you know that drivers of green cars are the least likely to be stopped for speeding? The Church figured it out centuries ago: color really matters.

Why Rose ~ Isn’t it Still Lent?

Laetare Sunday is the popular name for the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Laetare means “Rejoice” in Latin, and the Entrance Antiphon in both the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo is Isaiah 66:10-11, which begins “Laetare, Jerusalem” (“Rejoice, O Jerusalem”).

Because it’s the midpoint of Lent, Laetare Sunday has traditionally been viewed as a day of celebration. On Laetare Sunday, the purple vestments and altar cloths of Lent are set aside, and rose ones are used instead.