Liturgical Calendar & Colors

We know the importance of calendars that provides us opportunities to observe, commemorate, and celebrate certain events or occasions. A calendar is said to be a pattern of organizing days for social,
religious, commercial or administrative purposes. There are different types of calendars in existence like court calendar, academic calendar, solar calendar, lunar calendar, religious calendar etc. and each calendar has its own focus.

Christian Church Year/Calendar focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus. The sequence of events
from Advent to Resurrection Sunday becomes an annual spiritual journey for worshippers as they
look at the manger for Christmas, listen on a hillside or a lakeside to the marvellous words of the
master, walk the streets of Jerusalem proclaiming Hosanna, hear the roar of the mob ‘crucify
him’, stand beneath the cross, and witness the resurrection! The rest of the Church year provides
opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the coming of Jesus and his commission to his people to be a
light to the world.

The Christmas Calendar is organized around two major centres of Sacred Time commonly known as
- Christ’s Half and
- Church’s Half

The Christ’s Half which is itself divided into two, begins with the Advent and goes onto Christmas,
and Epiphany; and Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, concluding at the Pentecost. The rest of the year
following the Pentecost is known as the Church’s Half or Ordinary Time, from the word “ordinal”,
which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, etc.). Ordinary Time is used to
focus on various aspects of the Faith, especially the mission of the Church in the world. As the name
suggests, the bodily presence of Christ Jesus and HIS ministry is reflected in the Christ’s Half and in
the same way Church’s Half commences with the initiation of Church on Pentecost.

Liturgical Colors are the simple opportunities that give a backing to pursue the seasons of the
church year for worshippers, as well as for providing a visual context for worship. Different colours
are associated with different seasons, and the changing colours of the back curtain, communion table
and pulpit coverings or wall banners along with the stole of the presbyter provide visual clues for the

White is the color for the festal periods from Christmas Eve to the festival of Epiphany, from Easter
day to the eve of Pentecost, and for Trinity Sunday. It is also used for Marriages, Thanksgiving
services, Harvest festivals, the Feast of Dedication of a Church and for feasts commemorating saints.
White is suitable for baptism, confirmation and ordination, though red may be preferred.

Red is used on the feast of Pentecost, and during the week between the Pentecost and Trinity
Sunday. It is used on All Saints day and for the feasts of those saints venerated as martyrs. It is
appropriate for any service which focuses on the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is therefore suitable for
baptism, confirmation and ordination.

Purple is the color for Advent Season and Lenten Season and is therefore used from the first
Sunday in Advent to the fourth Sunday in Advent; from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday. However
White may be preferred at Holy Communion service on Maundy Thursday. Purple is recommended
for funerals and for the commemoration of the faithful departed, although either black of white may
also be used. White is preferred at the funeral of a child.

Green is the color for ordinary Sundays. It is used between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, and
between Trinity Sunday and Advent Sunday.