Pentecost & Holy Trinity
On Pentecost the color red signifies the strength and power the Holy Spirit gives people to call on the name of Jesus and share with others.
Sundays after Pentecost are observed as “the time of the church,” and emphasize our need to grow and mature as disciples of Christ. The colors of green on the altar help us remember this time to grow in our faith.
Green is a neutral color, but there is nothing colorless about our need to grow and mature as disciples of Jesus Christ. That’s why this time of the church year is so lengthy. Time must be given to encourage all worshipers to maintain their faith through the constant use of God’s means of grace (from LCMS.org Colors of the Liturgical Season).
Advent is from the Latin word for “coming” and describes the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in flesh. Christ’s coming also is manifested in three ways – past (his birth at Bethlehem), present (His ministry among us today in Word and Sacrament), and future (on the Last Day at the end of time). (from the LCMS document Worship/Congregation Life – Church Year).
“Advent a preparatory time of waiting and watching, communicates the message of hope…Our Christian faith rests on the hope that Christ, who came in history assuming our flesh, will also return on the last day of time…” (from LCMS.org Colors of the Liturgical Season)
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus – the incarnation of God as man – and the fulfillment of God’s promise to send us a Savior. All this through the love God the Father has for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17)
Epiphany is from the Greek word “to reveal” and during this time we focus on who Jesus is: both true God and man. On the Festival of Epiphany, January 6, we celebrate the visit of the wise men and their acknowledgment that the infant was indeed the Christ, the Son of God. Throughout the Season of Epiphany, Jesus reveals his glory and ministers by submitting Himself to the Law in our place. (from the LCMS document Worship/Congregation Life – Church Year).
During Lent, the Church’s worship assumes a more penitential character as we meditate
on the suffering that Christ endured on our behalf. The color for the season is purple, a color often associated with penitence. There are slight changes in the liturgy to reflect this season of reflection. The season culminates in Holy Week which starts on Palm Sunday and includes Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
The color of the Easter season is white – the color of purity and completeness. Christ’s triumph and resurrection from the grave is cause for our rejoicing in the knowledge that Christ has paid the price of our sins for us and our sins are forgiven.