Seasons of the Christian year

February 2019
Greetings my Friends,

The Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day we worshiped in the fellowship hall.  The worship service included wonderful egg bakes and muffins.  During the service we had a time of “Ask the Pastor.”  Everyone was challenged to ask whatever questions they had, and I was challenged to provide answers.

One of the questions asked was “What are the various seasons of the church calendar – colors, meanings, etc.? This was a question that I was not prepared to answer so I said I would provide a response later. Below is a chart identifying the season, a definition, the color and definitions of what the colors represent.

Seasons of the Christian Year

Season Definition Color Representing Season
Advent The beginning of the church new year (any day between November 27 and December 3; always contains four Sundays; ends Christmas Eve). The traditional liturgical color is purple (violet), blue is gaining popularity.


Christmas The anniversary of the birth of Jesus. Begins Christmas Day and lasts for 12 days The liturgical color is white
Epiphany Celebrates the appearance of the divine nature of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.

Begins the first Sunday in January and varies in length depending on the date set for Easter

For the first and last Sundays, the liturgical color is white, for Ash Wednesday, it is purple, and for the other days, it is green.
Lent Observes a season of penitence. The season lasting forty-six days (not counting Sundays) beginning Ash Wednesday and ending the eve of Easter. The liturgical color is purple (violet).  On Good Friday, black is substituted.


Easter Celebrates the Resurrection of Christ. Begins on Easter Sunday and continues for fifty days until Pentecost. The liturgical color is white and gold. The liturgical color is white and gold.


Pentecost Commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. Begins the “fiftieth day” after Easter and is longest season of the church year.  It lasts until the first Sunday in Advent. The liturgical color for the first Sunday is red; Trinity, Christ the King, All Saints Day is white. The liturgical color for all other Sundays following Pentecost Sunday is green.

 The colors have meaning and are noted below.

  • Purple, representing both royalty and penitence, is traditionally used during Advent and Lent.
  • Blue symbolizes hope and may also be used during Advent.
  • White and gold are used at Christmas and Easter to symbolize joy and festivities.
  • Red symbolizes the color of fire to represent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and times when the work of the Holy Spirit is emphasized. During Holy Week it represents the blood of Christ. Red is also used for ordinations, church anniversaries and civil observances such as Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.
  • Green represents growth and is used during Ordinary Time (the season after Epiphany and the season after Pentecost.)

This information is taken from the The United Methodist Book of Worship, Copyright © 1992 The United Methodist Publishing House)

Curious minds wanted to know, and it is good to continue learning.

Blessings to you,

Pastor Deb

Posted in ,