[On December 22, 1995 Professor Ostrowski contributed the following information to the Victoria discussion list, which I here include with her permission (GPL).]
In Catholic schools I learned that the priest's outer garments (chasuble and stole) reflect the colors of the particular liturgical season or day:
- White or gold for Christmas and Easter (the birth and resurrection).
- Purple during Advent and Lent but pink on the 3rd Sunday of Advent and on Laetare Sunday, which is right before Palm Sunday (if I remember correctly). The purple reflects sorrow/suffering: suffering awaiting the arrival (ad + venire) of the Savior, and suffering to mark Christ's 40 days in the desert (Lent).
- Red on the feasts of martyrs (obviously, red = blood).
- Green during the rest of the liturgical year (green symbolizing hope).
- Black used to be worn for funerals, but since Vatican II, white is now worn (to symbolize life rather than mourning).
Last modified December 1995