Purple is a color that has been associated with royalty for centuries. But did you know that it also plays a significant role in the Advent season? That’s right! Purple is the liturgical color of Advent and is used to symbolize royalty, penance, and preparation.
During Advent, we are called to prepare ourselves spiritually and mentally for the coming of Christ. The color purple is a visible reminder of this preparation. It is a color that encourages reflection, contemplation, and humility as we prepare to welcome Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives.
In addition to its spiritual significance, purple is also a color that symbolizes wealth and power. The use of purple during Advent, therefore, also serves to remind us of the great power and majesty of Christ, our King. So this Advent season, let us embrace the color purple as we prepare to welcome our Savior into our lives with open arms.
The Importance of Colors in Advent
The use of colors in Advent carries significant symbolism and meaning in Christian tradition. Here, we’ll take a deep dive into the meaning of the color purple during Advent and its implications for the faithful.
- Preparation and Penance: The season of Advent focuses on waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. Purple symbolizes penance, fasting, and the repentance of sins. The purple color serves as a reminder to Christians to remain prepared for the second coming of Christ, encouraging them to reflect on their lives and repent their sins.
- Advent Wreath: Advent wreaths have a deep significance within Christian tradition, and the purple candle is lit during the second and fourth weeks of Advent. It represents the path leading to Christ, the lighting of the way and the subsequent acknowledgment of the need for repentence before receiving him.
- A Royal Color: In earlier Christmas traditions, purple was considered a royal color often used to depict the kingliness of Jesus. It is the color used by the Catholic Church for special liturgical celebrations such as solemnities and penance services. Moreover, purple serves as a reminder that during this season Christians should prepare not only for the birth of Jesus but also for his return as the King of Kings.
Overall, the use of color in Advent highlights the importance of preparation, penance, and the acknowledgement of Christ as the true King. The purple color adds a royal tone to the season and serves as a representation of repentance and anticipation.
Purple as a Liturgical Color
When it comes to the liturgical calendar, purple is one of the most used colors, particularly during the Advent season. This color is rich in symbolism, representing many aspects of the faith and its practices. In this article, we will explore what purple symbolizes in Advent.
Symbolism of Purple in Advent
- Penitence: Purple symbolizes penitence and repentance. During Advent, the Church encourages believers to reflect on their sins and seek forgiveness. As such, the color is often used to represent the need for penitence and the acknowledgement of one’s wrongdoing.
- Preparation: Purple also symbolizes preparation for the coming of Christ. Advent is a time of anticipation, where Christians await the birth of Jesus. By using purple, the Church reminds us to prepare our hearts and minds for Christ’s coming, so that we may receive him with open arms.
- Hope: Finally, purple is a color of hope. When we are facing difficult times, it can be easy to lose hope and give up. However, Advent reminds us that even in the darkest of times, there is hope. The birth of Jesus represents a new beginning, and purple encourages us to look forward with hope and optimism.
Other Uses of Purple in the Liturgical Calendar
Purple is not only used during Advent, but also has important symbolism in other liturgical seasons. Here are some examples:
- Lent: Purple is also used during the Lenten season, which is a time of reflection and sacrifice. The color serves as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for our sins.
- Epiphany: Purple is sometimes used during the season of Epiphany, which celebrates the revelation of Jesus as the Son of God. The color represents royalty, as Jesus is often referred to as the King of Kings.
The Use of Purple in the Sanctuary
Purple is also used in the sanctuary in a variety of ways:
- Candles: Purple candles are often used in Advent wreaths as a symbol of the season. The third candle, which is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, is typically pink to represent joy and is surrounded by three purple candles.
- Vestments: Priests and other liturgical leaders often wear purple vestments during Advent and other penitential seasons.
|Advent Wreath||Penitence, preparation, hope|
|Vestments||Penitence, preparation, sacrifice|
Through these uses, purple remains an important color in the liturgical calendar, reminding us of the penitence, preparation, and hope that we find through our faith in Christ.
Symbolism of Purple in Christianity
Purple is a symbolic color in Christianity, often associated with royalty, majesty, and solemnity. Its use in Christian liturgical vestments and art has a rich history and deep meanings. One of the most prominent times during which purple is used in the Christian faith is during the Advent season.
- Penance and preparation: In the Advent season, purple is used to symbolize penance and preparation. Advent is a time of waiting, preparing oneself for the arrival of Jesus Christ. Purple is a reminder of the seriousness of this season, a time to reflect on one’s sins and to seek repentance.
- Royalty and majesty: Purple is also a color long associated with royalty and majesty. The use of purple in Advent is a nod to the coming of Jesus as a king, a theme that runs through the Gospels and is particularly clear in the story of the Magi.
- Mystery and spirituality: Finally, purple is a color that has long been associated with mystery, spirituality, and the divine. The use of purple in Christian liturgy and art is a powerful reminder of the mysterious and transcendent nature of God.
The use of purple during Advent
During Advent, purple is used in a variety of ways to symbolize the themes of penance, preparation, royalty, and spirituality. Here are a few examples:
|Advent wreath||The third candle (lit on the third Sunday of Advent) is often purple and represents penance and preparation.|
|Altar cloths and paraments||Purple is often used on these items during Advent to remind the faithful of the themes of royalty, majesty, and penance.|
|Vestments||Priests and other liturgical ministers may wear purple vestments during Advent, again to highlight the themes of royalty, majesty, and penance.|
Overall, the use of purple during Advent in the Christian faith is a powerful reminder of the themes of penance, preparation, royalty, and spirituality. Whether through the lighting of a purple candle on an Advent wreath or the donning of a purple vestment, the color serves to connect the faithful to the deeper meanings of the season.
Connection between Purple and Royalty
Throughout history, purple has been associated with wealth, nobility, and power. The dye used to produce the color purple was a rare and expensive commodity in ancient times, which made it a symbol of luxury and status.
But how did purple come to be associated with royalty specifically? The answer lies in ancient Rome, where the color purple was reserved for emperors and magistrates. The dye used to create the purple fabric was extracted from a shellfish found only in the Mediterranean, making it difficult and expensive to obtain.
- Kings and queens throughout Europe also adopted purple as a symbol of their status and authority, often incorporating the color into their official royal regalia.
- In Elizabethan England, only close relatives of the queen were allowed to wear purple.
- In Japan, purple was reserved for the robes of emperors and high-ranking officials.
But it wasn’t just about the expense of the dye, purple was also seen as having a spiritual and psychological power that made it a fitting color for leaders. It was associated with wisdom, dignity, and leadership, which made it a natural choice for those in positions of power.
Interestingly, the connection between purple and royalty is also linked to the season of Advent, the period of four weeks leading up to Christmas. During this time, purple is the liturgical color used to signify penance, preparation, and waiting for the coming of Christ.
|PURPLE SYMBOLISM IN ADVENT||MEANING|
Overall, purple has long been associated with royalty due to its rarity, spiritual significance, and psychological power. This connection to royalty has been carried on throughout history, and even has a role in the religious observance of Advent.
Significance of Purple in Old Testament
Throughout the Old Testament, the color purple held great significance and was often associated with royalty and wealth.
One of the earliest mentions of purple in scripture is in the book of Exodus, when God gave Moses instructions for constructing the tabernacle. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine woven linen and blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim you shall weave them” (Exodus 26:1, NKJV).
Not only was purple used in the tabernacle, but it was also worn by the high priest. In the book of Exodus, God instructed Moses to make garments for his brother, Aaron, who would serve as the high priest. These garments were to be made of linen and adorned with precious stones and gold, as well as blue, purple, and scarlet thread (Exodus 28:6).
- Purple was also used to signify wealth and luxury. In the book of Esther, King Ahasuerus held a lavish feast in which “There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars” (Esther 1:6, NKJV).
- Additionally, in the book of Daniel, the prophet speaks of an encounter he had with a heavenly being who was clothed in linen and had a belt of “fine gold from Uphaz” and a body “like beryl” (Daniel 10:5-6, NKJV). The color of the being’s face was described as “the appearance of lightning,” and his eyes were “like torches of fire.” All of these elements combine to create an image of grandeur and royalty.
- The book of Psalms speaks of purple as a symbol of divine favor and blessing. In Psalm 45, the author writes, “The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the king in robes of many colors” (Psalm 45:13-14, NKJV). The Hebrew word for “robes of many colors” can also be translated as “garments of needlework” or “garments of embroidery,” underscoring the idea of luxury and opulence.
In all of these instances, the color purple was used to convey a sense of royalty, wealth, and divine favor. The Old Testament writers recognized the power that this color held and utilized it to create vivid images of splendor and grandeur.
|Purple||Royalty, wealth, divine favor|
|Blue||Heavenly or spiritual significance|
As we approach the Advent season, it is worth noting the significance of the color purple in the Old Testament. The use of purple in the tabernacle and high priest’s garments, as well as its association with wealth and divine favor, provides a rich backdrop against which we can understand the birth of Christ as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and a demonstration of God’s love and grace.
Purple as a Symbol of Mourning
Throughout the ages, purple has been associated with mourning. In ancient Rome, purple was the color worn by Roman senators during the mourning period after the death of an emperor or other important figure. In Christian tradition, purple is one of the liturgical colors used during the season of Lent, a time of repentance and remembrance of Christ’s suffering on the cross. In Advent, the use of purple can symbolize a period of mourning and repentance as we prepare for the coming of the Messiah.
- Purple is a reminder of the sin and brokenness of the world, which necessitated Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
- During Advent, we are called to reflect on the ways in which we have fallen short and to seek God’s forgiveness and healing.
- Purple can also be a reminder of those we have lost and a time to grieve and honor their memory.
Whether it is the loss of a loved one, the pain of broken relationships, or the longing for a better world, the use of purple during Advent can serve as a powerful reminder of the need for redemption and the hope that is to come.
One example of the use of purple as a symbol of mourning during Advent is the Advent wreath. The wreath typically has four candles, which represent the four weeks of Advent. On the third Sunday of Advent, the candle that is lit is usually a different color than the others – a purple candle, known as the “Candle of Joy” or the “Shepherd’s Candle”. This candle is a reminder of the joy that Christ brings, even in the midst of our mourning and the darkness of the world.
|Purple Symbolism in Advent||Meaning|
|Liturgical color||A reminder of the need for repentance and reflection during the season of Advent|
|Candle of Joy||A reminder of the joy that Christ brings, even in the midst of mourning|
|Advent wreath||A symbol of the four weeks of Advent and the gradual coming of Christ into the world|
Overall, purple is a powerful symbol of mourning and repentance in Advent. It reminds us of the need for redemption and the hope that is to come. As we prepare for Christ’s coming into the world, may we take time to reflect on the ways in which we have fallen short and seek God’s forgiveness and healing.
Use of Purple in Liturgy during Lent
Purple is a popular color used in liturgy during Lent. This shade is closely related to the solemnity and somberness of the season. The purple color also holds strong symbolic meaning within the Christian faith. Here, we take a closer look at the significance of this color in the observance of Lent.
The number 7
The use of the number 7 is significant during Lent. This number appears in a number of ways during Lenten liturgy. Here are a few examples:
- The Lenten season spans a period of 7 weeks, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting through Holy Saturday
- The Catholic Church observes the 7 penitential Psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142) during Lent
- Jesus spoke 7 times from the cross, according to the Gospels
- There are 7 last words of Jesus, which are often meditated upon during Lent
The use of the number 7 is a reminder of the importance of completion and wholeness in our Lenten observance. By incorporating this number in various ways throughout the season, we are reminded to engage in a complete and transformative spiritual journey during Lent.
Purple Vestments and Decorations
Purple vestments and decorations are common in many Christian churches during Lent. This color is used as a symbol of penance and repentance, calling to mind the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus on the cross. During the season of Lent, the Church emphasizes the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as a way of growing closer to God and preparing for the celebration of Easter. The color purple serves as a visual reminder of this call to spiritual renewal.
In addition to the use of purple vestments and decorations, many churches cover statues and crosses with purple cloth during Lent. This act of veiling serves as another reminder of the somberness of the season and the need for repentance and reflection.
|Purple Symbolism in Advent|
|Blood and sacrifice||Purple is related to blood due to the association of the color with passion. The color also signifies sacrifice, which is an important theme during Advent.|
|Penitence and reflection||The color purple is also associated with penitence and reflection, as it is a somber color that calls to mind spiritual introspection.|
|Kingship, royalty, and majesty||Purple is also a color associated with royalty, which is fitting during Advent as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the King of Kings.|
Overall, the color purple plays a significant role in the observance of Lent. Through its use in vestments, decorations, and religious practices, this color serves as a reminder of the solemnity and reflective nature of the season. The number 7 also serves as a reminder of the importance of a complete and transformative Lenten journey. As we observe Lent, may we be mindful of the symbolic significance of this color and its role in our spiritual growth and renewal.
Advent Candles and Purple
Purple is a significant color during Advent and is often seen on Advent candles. Understanding the symbolism of purple can help us understand the meaning and purpose of Advent.
Purple is a royal color, often associated with royalty and power. During Advent, it symbolizes both the majesty of Christ and the humility of his birth in a manger. Purple also represents a time of penance, reflection, and preparation for the coming of Christ.
- First Week of Advent- The first purple candle, also known as the prophecy candle, represents hope. It is a reminder of the promise God made to send a Savior.
- Second Week of Advent – The second purple candle, also called the Bethlehem candle, symbolizes faith. It represents the journey that Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem and their faith in God’s plan for their lives.
- Third Week of Advent – The third candle, colored pink or purple, is known as the rose candle or the joy candle. It symbolizes the joy we find in God’s promises, and the joy of the coming of Christ.
- Fourth Week of Advent – The final purple candle, known as the angel candle or the peace candle, represents peace. It is a reminder that Christ is the Prince of Peace, and through him, we can find true peace in our hearts and in our world.
Advent candles help us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and purple adds to this symbolism. It encourages us to slow down and reflect on the meaning of Christ’s coming, and his significance in our lives.
Here is a table to summarize the Advent candle colors and their symbolism:
|3||Pink or Purple||Rose Candle||Joy|
Purple is an essential color during Advent and reminds us of the meaning and purpose of the season. It encourages us to focus on our faith, hope, joy, and peace in preparation for the coming of Christ.
The Meaning of Purple Vestments during Advent
Purple is a color that holds significant importance during Advent, a season of spiritual reflection and preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ. In fact, the use of purple vestments is a long-standing tradition in Christian churches, and it symbolizes various aspects of Advent.
- Penance and Preparation – The color purple is often associated with penance, sacrifice, and preparation. During Advent, the use of purple vestments conveys the solemnity and seriousness of the season, reminding believers to prepare their hearts and minds for the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Savior.
- The Royal Color – Purple is also a color of royalty and majesty, and it is often associated with the coming of a king. This symbolism is especially relevant during Advent, as Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
- Hope and Longing – Purple symbolizes both hope and longing. During Advent, the use of purple vestments reminds believers that the world is waiting for the coming of a Savior who will bring hope and salvation to all who believe in Him.
But what about the number 9? How does it relate to the symbolism of purple during Advent?
According to some Christian traditions, there are nine candles that are lit during Advent, with each candle representing a different aspect of the season. These candles are often arranged in a circle, with four purple candles, three pink candles, and one white candle in the center. The four purple candles represent the themes of hope, peace, joy, and love, while the three pink candles symbolize the joy of the season.
|Purple Candle #1||Hope|
|Purple Candle #2||Peace|
|Pink Candle #1||Joy|
|Purple Candle #3||Joy|
|Purple Candle #4||Love|
|Pink Candle #2||Joy|
|Pink Candle #3||Joy|
Thus, the number nine symbolizes the various aspects of Advent, as represented by the nine candles. This symbolism ties in with the use of purple vestments during Advent, further emphasizing the importance and significance of this color during this season.
The Role of Purple in Advent Wreaths
Advent is a holy season that marks the beginning of the Christian calendar. During this season, Christians prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent wreaths are a common symbol of this season and are used in homes and churches. The Advent wreath is an evergreen wreath with four candles (three purple and one pink or rose) placed around its circumference. Purple is a significant color used during the Advent season and holds great symbolism.
- 1. Represents Royalty: Purple has long been associated with royalty. It was once an expensive dye made from the mollusk shells of the Mediterranean, and only the wealthiest members of society could afford it. The use of purple during Advent signifies the kingship of Jesus Christ.
- 2. Signifies Penance: Purple is also associated with penance and preparation. During the Advent season, Christians prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ by engaging in penitential practices such as prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The use of purple candles during this season is a reminder of the importance of repentance and preparation.
- 3. Represents Waiting: The color purple also signifies waiting. During the Advent season, Christians wait in hopeful anticipation for the birth of Christ. The use of purple candles during this time reminds us to be patient and to trust in God’s timing.
The Symbolism of the Number 10 in Advent
The number 10 also holds significant symbolism in Advent. There are 10 days between the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th) and the beginning of the Advent season, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. This 10-day period is known as the “Days of Preparation” and is a time of prayer and reflection before the start of Advent.
The number 10 is also significant in the Advent wreath. The wreath is made up of four candles, which represent the four Sundays of Advent. Each Sunday, one candle is lit until all four are eventually burning. The four candles represent hope, peace, joy, and love. When the four candles are added to the central fifth candle, which represents Christ, there are a total of 10 candles in the Advent wreath. This symbolizes the 10 commandments and the perfection of God’s law.
|Advent Sunday||Candle Color||Symbolism|
|3rd Sunday||Pink or Rose||Joy|
The use of purple in Advent wreaths and the significant symbolism of the number 10 serve as reminders of the true meaning of the Advent season. It is a time of preparation, penance, and joyful anticipation for the birth of Christ, the King of kings.
What Does Purple Symbolize in Advent?
Purple is one of the traditional colors of Advent, but what does it symbolize? Here are some frequently asked questions:
1. Why is purple associated with advent?
Purple is associated with advent because it represents the penitential aspect of the season, which is a time of waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ.
2. What does purple represent in the bible?
In the Bible, purple is associated with royalty and majesty. It was a rare and expensive color, so only the most powerful and wealthy people could afford to wear it.
3. What do the purple candles on the advent wreath mean?
The purple candles on the advent wreath represent the first two weeks of advent, which are a time of penitence and preparation.
4. Are there any other meanings associated with purple in advent?
Some people associate purple with the suffering and sacrifice of Christ, as well as the mystery and anticipation of his coming.
5. What is the significance of using purple during advent?
Using purple during advent helps to set the tone for the season and reminds us of the solemnity and importance of the coming of Christ.
6. Are there any other colors associated with advent?
Yes, there is also a pink candle on the advent wreath which represents the third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday. This day marks a time of rejoicing as the coming of Christ draws near.
7. What can I do to incorporate the symbolism of purple into my advent traditions?
You can incorporate the symbolism of purple into your advent traditions by wearing purple clothing, using purple decorations, or lighting purple candles in your home or church.
Thanks for Reading!
We hope this article has helped you understand the symbolism of purple in advent. Remember to take some time during this season to reflect on the meaning and importance of the coming of Christ. Thanks for reading, and please visit us again soon for more articles and insights!