The Color of Lent

From the book

Proclamation by Design

, by Karmen Krahn and Leslie James:

Purple, the color of Lent, serves as a foundation for symbols of barrenness and brokenness. The worship space may be stripped of all other color and signs of life. Plants and flowers are not used during the season. Purple is the traditional color for Lent, but in some faith traditions the use of natural fabrics of brown, beige, or gray are used instead. Congregations that use purple at Advent should take care to use different hues at Lent.

Today on Ash Wednesday we will start setting the tone for the season: humility, simplicity, sobriety, and even sorrow. Why do so many churches use purple for Lent? 

Purple has been associated with royalty for centuries. Nature does not provide an easy means of dying fabric for purple. At the time of Christ's time on earth only the rich, mainly royalty, could afford it. So of course we further come to understand why the words of Mark 15:17 tell us, "They put a purple rode on Jesus, made a crown out of thorny branches and put it on his head." Lent is a 

 journey. And as we begin it, as we make the first step, we see--far, far away--the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom.

 The reign of Christ the King.

If you still need a stole for Lent we offer a variety of appropriate purple vestments 

here

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