Liturgical Colours

The liturgical colours are the colours traditionally used by the Roman Catholic and many mainline Protestant churches for hangings and vestments during the liturgical seasons. It is usual for clergy stoles to follow the same pattern.

The pattern is fairly similar in most Western Christian denominations, with minor variations. Here is a summary of the most common usage:

GREEN is used almost universally for what is called Ordinary Time (i.e. those parts of the year when particular other colours are not called for.)

VIOLET or PURPLE is used by most denominations for Lent, and also during Advent by the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian churches, and some Lutherans. Many Anglican churches use violet for funerals.

BLUE or SARUM BLUE is used by Anglican, and many Lutheran and other Protestant churches during advent.

WHITE is used during Christmastide (Christmas Day until Baptism of the Lord), during the Easter season, and for Baptisms and Weddings. Some Anglican churches use white at funerals, and also during the Epiphany season.

RED or CRIMSON is used on Palm Sunday and Pentecost, and the Roman Catholic church uses red on Good Friday and for Feasts of the Passion of the Lord. Red is used widely in the Anglican and other Protestant churches for Confirmations and Ordinations.

BLACK is used in the Roman Catholic church for Requiem Masses, Good Friday, and All Souls Day. Black is also used in many Anglican churches for funerals.

More detailed information by denomination is available elsewhere, for example on the websites of the national churches, and there is a pretty good overview covering most denominations on Wikipedia.