13th November 01:22
Advent Liturgical Colors (church area altar time color)
Does anyone know where the use of Blue as an Advent color on the altar come
from? We always used Violet before but in the church I attend now it is
blue. In the Lutheran churches I know in Germany it is violet too and even
in this area, the majority of Lutheran churches seem to use violet. Just
wondering when it started and what it means. I thought traditionally that
Advent in the early church was a time of penitence and humility, a "little
Lent," much as the Orthodox practice still today.
13th November 01:22
Advent Liturgical Colors (history faith heaven advent holy)
I found this at an LCMS website which may help:
"...Purple is the traditional color for the season of Advent. Purple
was the most costly dye in ancient times and was therefore used by kings
to indicate their royal status. Purple also signifies the repentance
and patience of God's people as they await the arrival of their Lord.
In more recent times, many churches (including Saint Paul's) use royal
blue, the color not only of royalty, but of hope, expectation, and
heaven. The use of blue helps distinguish Advent from the other special
penitential season of preparation, Lent..."
"...color can easily be taken for granted or mistaken in its purpose.
The paraments, vestments, altar clothes and banners must be seen as more
Blue, used at Advent, communicates the message of hope, Our Christian
faith rests on the hope that Christ, who came in history assuming our
flesh, will return on the last day from that same blue sky into which He
ascended long ago.
Green, is used during the seasons of Epiphany and Pentecost. It is
appointed color for Epiphanyıs message of Christıs revelation to the
gentiles and growing His kingdom through missions. Green is the color of
growth. The Sundays following Pentecost emphasize our need to grow and
mature as disciples of Jesus Christ.
The calendar calls for black only twice: on Good Friday and Ash
Wednesday. Thereıs no mistaking the message that this sober color gives.
Black is the absence of light. These are times for reflection on the
cost of our redemption.
Gold is the optional color for Easter Sunday. It is also suggested for
the last Sunday of the church year * Christ the King Sunday. It
represents value and growth. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ gives our
lives meaning and worth.
Scarlet is called for during the Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Maundy
Thursday. It is associated with the passion * the color of blood.
Purple, like black, is a penitential color. It is used during the Lent
and, in many parishes, during Advent. This deep rich color represents
somberness, penitence and prayer.
White is the color of purity and completeness. Used primarily during the
50 days of Easter, it bears the message that "though yours sins be as
scarlet, they shall be white as snow." His purity before His Father
becomes our purity.
White is also used for Christmas and its 12 days, Epiphany and the first
Sunday following it, Transfiguration Sunday and Holy Trinity Sunday.
Red is a power color. It is appropriate for Pentecost Sunday when we
remember the power and fire of "the Lord and Giver of Life," who reveal
Himself as the Promised One.
The thing to remember is that we use color to server Godıs worshipping
community by assisting in communicating the holy faith from generation
Hope this helps. :-)
13th November 01:22
Advent Liturgical Colors (color)
And I guess my only question would be,
Does it *really* matter?
I mean certainly there is nothing in scripture that specifies
a color scheme for any of that. Sure, it's nice and all that
but in the end does it really matter?
15th November 17:56
Advent Liturgical Colors (fasting mind color worship)
No, not really at one level as there is a variety of color usage between the
Western and Eastern Church, and then amongst various Orthodox groups (Greek
vs Russian for example). Although if the color is commonly understood to
transmit a message which is theologically correct and another is substituted
to "modify" the message then I wonder. I dont know, I wonder.
Advent was indeed supposed to be penetential. There was fasting before the
Feast of the Nativity. (Hence the abundance of sweets and chocolates at the
holiday to break the fast). And the Orthodox who have done the best at not
changing (I think they would find it more confusing than I to have so many
different settings of liturgies, music, phraseologies.)still consider Advent
a small Lent. Christ , the Word made Flesh, comes to us at Christmas because
of our Fall, not to make a neighborly house call. So, in a nutshell I like
the all colors (though the blue we use is almost gaudy to my mind and hardly
warm) whereas the purple seems royal, has the underlying message of
penitence*, and has a tinge of red in it which is warmer for this holiday
season. If the blue is meant, as has been suggested to me by musicologists,
etc, as a conscious departure from that meaning associated from Lent, then I
reject it on that basis.
* seems we Lutherans in the modern age could do with MORE penitence. We use
in our LCMS parish a service from With One Voice which has Communion without
any preparatory Confession or Absolution. I wonder if this isthe
contemporary "Don't Blame Me" attitude incorporated into worship. Hope not.
24th November 11:38
Advent Liturgical Colors (elements death resurrection color soul)
I am a Lutheran Pastor, for what that is worth.
The change from Purple to Blue occurred as a part of the liturgical revival
movement, which began early in the 20th century, gaining a full head of
steam in the late 1960's. It had to do with wanting to differentiate
between Advent and Lent. Even though both have elements of penitence and
preparation, there are major differences. Advent is focusing on the comings
of Our Lord -- historically, in the soul and at the final judgment. It's
main theme is Hope. Blue is the color of hope. Lent is focused on Christ's
redeeming death and resurrection. It culminates in Christ, The King, on the
throne of The Cross and The Resurrected Christ at the Right Hand of God,
Seated on The Throne. The color of royalty is Purple. I hope this helps.
24th November 11:39
Advent Liturgical Colors (fasting movements denomination faith church)
Thank you for writing and explaining. Of course in all "movements" not all
of a faith of denomination "move" at the same time, and I detect, perhaps it
is my own bias, a growing lack of humility in Advent which was always
inculcated in us growing up in our country Lutheran parish. When we have our
English/German Advent service and intersperse traditional Advent carols from
the Gesangbuch into it, those tunes and texts are more like what I was used
to in English in this country. The Magi certainly recognized the kingship of
the Newly born Messiah, and though we have hope and joy at Advent, if we
downplay the penitential aspect, we DO distance ourselves from the
traditional Advent preparation which included fasting. As Lutherans we are
neither encouraged nor DIScouraged from such spiritual preparation, but I
find little in current liturgical practice to differentiate Advent from a
general Yuletide season culminating in Christmas. It feeds right into the
overpowering commercial, materialistic Christmas shopping season, when the
Church's acknowledgement of the season should be in CLEAR contrast, a little
less hoopla in church, and a bigger dose of sorrow that our Fall
necessitated the Birth of one who would ultimately suffer death for human
frailty. So, Yes, as you say great hope! And here is ONE vote for purple if
that symbolizes more penitence with that hope.
(without dispersion, blue does nothing to heighten my understanding of
Scripture and the message of Advent. Instead I wonder WHO the seminary
theologians are who busy themselves trying to make Christian faith
"relevant" to the current generation. They dont have to...Christianity
speaks for itself...for example I still want Confession and Absolution
BEFORE Communion, although some hymnal authors left it out of a number of
the contemporary liturgies (which sound like Andrew Lloyd Weber on Broadway
more than musical worship of the Almighty).