Now that we are at the beginning of what is called “the long green season of Pentecost.” I find it beneficial to review for myself the significance of the color of this season and the colors of all the seasons of the Church Year.
Whether you know it or not, church tradition has established colors to correspond with each season of the Church Year. Currently, we are in the “green” season of the Sundays after Pentecost (which will end in November.) Green is a symbol of growth and maturity. This is a time for us to grow in and become more grounded in our faith. Green helps us to remember that Christ is the Vine and we are the branches, so we need to continually rely on him through prayer, worship, devotion and Bible study. We are always to be lifelong learners of faith. Let this be your mindset and mood during these weeks.
As we look ahead, then, the colors will continue throughout the Church Year and each will help you to take on that season’s particular mood and mindset. Here is what I mean:
The blue of Advent (the 4 Sundays before Christmas) reminds us that we are waiting and expecting the coming of Christ on Christmas and his Second Coming at the Last Day. Blue reminds us of the sky that was filled with angels and held the star when Jesus was born, and recalls for us that Jesus will come with the clouds to take us home to be with him one day.
Green returns during the Epiphany season (Epiphany Day to Ash Wednesday) as a reminder that Christ appeared to be revealed to all nations and become known to everyone on God’s green earth. We are to come to this season filled with joy that Jesus has come to the whole world.
The purple of Lent (Ash Wednesday to Good Friday) signifies a repentant, sorrowful, reflective time as we contemplate the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus for us. We are to come to this season humble and ready to confess the sins we have committed against our God that we might be forgiven.
The Easter season (Easter Sunday to Pentecost) means a return to white to celebrate the bright light of the rising Son who came to life again after three days that we might have life forevermore in the glorious light of heaven. We come to this season filled with joy and celebration over the resurrection of Christ.
The Day of Pentecost is traditionally red to call to mind the tongues of fire that appeared over the heads of the disciples when the Holy Spirit was first poured out upon them and they shared the Gospel with every tribe, tongue and language there. We come to this day “fired up,” if you will, to spread the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Which brings us back to the green season of Pentecost again. May the colors of the Church Year inspire you and keep you connected to the story of Christ in every season.