Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 18 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Maria Anna Blondin
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

A visual guide to the liturgical colors seen at Mass

WHITE,PRIEST,ALB,VESTMENTS

Airman Magazine | CC BY-NC 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 06/18/18

Here's the meaning of the colors and the spiritual truths they symbolize.

Throughout the Church’s liturgical year, priests wear several different color vestments. The colors are not arbitrary, but reflect a deeper meaning that is meant to point us to a specific spiritual theme.

Since ancient times, whenever a priest celebrated the sacrifice of the Mass he would put on a large poncho-like garment called a casula (chasuble) that covered his ordinary clothing. This vestment developed from the ordinary Roman attire of a farmer, who wore the large poncho to protect him from the elements. By the 8th century the chasuble was reserved for clergy members and a few centuries later specific colors were in use.

The colors were developed to highlight different spiritual truths according to the day in the Church’s calendar. That way, when someone attended Mass they could immediately recognize the color and associate it with the season or day that was being celebrated. It led the people into a deeper understanding of the faith and reinforced whatever spiritual lesson that needed to be taught.

Below is a visual guide to the colors of the liturgical year, with the symbolism of each color.

Click “Launch the Slideshow” in the image below:




Read more:
Why is my priest wearing pink?




Read more:
A visual guide to Guardian Angels: Here’s what you need to know

Tags:
Liturgy
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
3
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
4
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
5
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
7
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.