Meaning & Significance of Colours In Catholic Liturgy

Different liturgical vestments colours worn by catholic priests during the liturgical year has many significance and meanings.


The catholic faithful through these vestments colours can be able to identify what time of liturgical calendars it is or what feast or celebration the church is undergoing.

These are colours put on by the priests or used to decorate the catholic alter for the mass.

Popular Colours Used In Catholic Church & Their Meanings

The major colours used in catholic church are Green, Red, Violet or Purple and White or Gold.


The green colour is one of the most popularly used colours in the catholic church. When a catholic priest dresses in green colour or when a catholic alter is decorated in green colour, it signifies that the church is at the ordinary time of the year.

The green colour in catholic church represents growth. It shows a time when the church is not in any celebration.


Red colour is very significant in catholic liturgy. It is used to show the celebration of martyrdom, those who shed their blood for church and for their faith in God.

It is also used to show the blood shed by our Lord Jesus Christ to redeem mankind. It is also used during celebration of passion of Christ.

The colour represents the red tongue of fire. So, whenever you see a catholic priest or catholic alter dressed or decorated in red, it shows that the church is celebrating a martyr or the passion of Jesus Christ.

It signifies the blood the shed by Jesus and martyrs of the church.

White and Gold

In the catholic liturgy, the white and Gold colours go hand in hand. These colours are used when the church is in big celebration mood like during Christmas and Easter celebrations.

It is also used when the church is celebrating feast of a Saints and Solemnity. It symbolizes joy and purity as a result of faith.

Purple or Violet

The purple or violet colours are used during Lenten season and Advent season. The colour signifies penance, waiting or mourning.

It also used during funerals and for burying the dead.

Other Catholic Liturgy Colours & Their Meanings


Used mostly during celebration of blessed virgin Mary.


Signifies joy and solemnity, used on third Sunday of advent and fourth Sunday of lent.


The Author

Emmanuel Igwenagu

Igwenagu Emmanuel is the founder of Nigerian Informer. He holds B.A, M.Sc in Mass Communication. He is a Communication researcher and 112 emergency help line dispatcher.

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