The reason why purple is the main color of Lent

Author

Published on

Categories

It has become a tradition for priests of the Roman Rite to wear frock of the color violet or purple during the repentance season of Lent. This was a custom that was slowly adopted, as originally priests normally wore white.

Easter cross Wreath

During ancient times, the color purple was associated with royalty. At the time, to make the color, “dye makers had to crack open the snail’s shell, extract a purple producing mucus and expose it to sunlight for a fixed amount of time. It would take as many as 250000, mollusks to yield just one ounce of usable dye, but the result was a vibrant and long-lasting shade of purple.” Kings Such as Roman emperors, as well as the Persian king Cyrus, chose purple as their prime color of clothing.

Reverend Fr Douglas Wako of Portal Catholic Diocese, says that according to general instruction to the Roman Missal number 345, there is a variety of colors in the sacred vestments and has its purpose to give more effective expression to the specific character of the mysteries of faith to be celebrated. He adds that purple in Roman Catholic Church is used during the Advent and Lent seasons. “purple signifies the mysteries we are celebrating as a church and during Lent, we are reflecting on issues of repentance and passion of Jesus Christ.”

The significance of purple color during Lent season

As a reminder of Jesus’ crucifixion

The rev. notes that it is remembered that during Jesus’ passion, he was dressed in a purple robe. The robe belonged to Herod and it was the most expensive color in the Roman empire. At the time, only the royals wore the color as they were the only ones who could afford the expensive color.

The gesture of dressing Jesus in a cloak of the expensive color was indicating his royal dignity. According to Mark 15:17, when Roman soldiers mocked Jesus before his crucifixion, they “clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him.” Then Pilate showed Jesus to the crowd saying, “what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of Jews?” (Mark 15;12). It is from this event that purple became linked with Jesus’ passion and death. The color reminds Christians of Jesus’ death and they see the color itself as a call to repentance for sin.

To express humility

During Lent, Christians put on purple color because it reflected the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It reflects humility, obedience to God and it originated from the Old Testament and Jewish culture.

He has resurrected

The color purple symbolizing reconciliation

Fr Charles Oyo of Fort Portal Catholic Diocese adds that the color symbolizes a time for penance that Christians are reconciling with the Lord.

He quotes “Purple is the color of Lent and it symbolizes repentance.”

He also adds that violet dye was a valuable product that was thoroughly manufactured. And because of the tedious process to extract the color, purple cloth was expensive. Therefore, it worn by royalty and nobility, since they were the only people who could often afford it.

Happy Easter Wreath

Royalties would dress entirely in violet to highlight their wealth and power. Consequently, dressing Christ in a purple robe was a symbolic act even though the intent was to disrespect him.

Are you a church leader?

Join 100+ other subscribers and receive our best insights on church leadership and management for FREE. No commitment. Unsubscribe anytime

Are you a church leader?

Join 100+ other subscribers and receive our best insights on church leadership and management for FREE

Recent articles

What does your church website say about you?

Last month, l moved to a new town and decided to look for a church I could be attending for …

Tips for preparing your church for Easter Sunday

Just the other day we were taking down the Christmas tree and now we are halfway through March and to …

How to engage with visitors in your church on Easter Sunday

As we approach the Easter season, you may notice a crazy spike in your church attendance with new and old …

What to do with live sermon broadcasts after streaming them

It is not enough to stream your sermons on social media. What your church does with the broadcasts after streaming is very important. It is important for the church to find a way to use the broadcast.

The Preminence Project

The Preminence Project is designed to empower the church from administrators to church members and how the society supports those in need in Kenya.

More Articles for You

seoup-קידום-אתרים-מקצועי-לעסקים_-קידום-אורגני-וקידום-ממומן-קידום-אתרים-שיניב-לך-יותר-הכנסות-מהעסק

What does your church website say about you?

Last month, l moved to a new town and decided to look for a church I could be attending for my spiritual nourishing. I did …

basket-full-of-easter-eggs-picjumbo-com-1

Tips for preparing your church for Easter Sunday

Just the other day we were taking down the Christmas tree and now we are halfway through March and to Easter Sunday. This is one …

Easter-Cross

How to engage with visitors in your church on Easter Sunday

As we approach the Easter season, you may notice a crazy spike in your church attendance with new and old Easter visitors on Easter Sunday. …

Scroll to Top

Church leadership tips in your inbox

You will get an invite when we launch

We will get to you