The church year begins with Advent at the end of November and spans the next four weeks before Christmas. Advent means “coming” and is a time of quiet reflection in preparation for the coming of Christmas and the coming of Christ at the end of the world.
For twelve days we celebrate the coming of God as a man to save us.
Epiphany is a Greek word that means “appearing.” We remember the appearing of the star to the wise men, telling us that Christ is the Savior of all nations. We also see Christ appearing to his disciples, making himself known as the promised Savior as he begins his ministry.
Lent is time for humble and solemn meditation on the seriousness of our sins and the depth of Christ’s love for us that he took those sins upon himself.
The sorrow of Lent is broken by the triumphant celebration of Easter, the highest of holy days for Christians. We rejoice in the victory of the risen Christ over all of our enemies.
The season of Pentecost begins 50 days after Easter and covers the remaining half of the church year. During Pentecost we focus on the teachings of Christ and their application to us.
What do the different colors we use in church mean?
The color of purity, perfection, eternity, and joy. Used on festival days like Christmas and Easter.
The color of zeal (fire) and martyrdom (blood). Used on days when we focus on the power of the Holy Spirit in zealous and faithful believers.
The color of life, refreshment, regeneration. Used most during the Sundays after Pentecost to remind us of the growth of our faith and the church as we hear Christ’s teaching.
The color of royalty, but also of sorrow and repentance. Used during Advent and Lent.
The color or mourning, humility, and death. Used on Good Friday.