Anyone who has at least once attended an
Orthodox service, had to notice the beauty and
festivity of the vestments. The diversity of colors is an inalienable part of
the liturgical-church symbolism, a way of affecting those praying. The color
scale of the vestments includes all the colors of the rainbow: red, yellow,
orange, green, sky blue, blue, purple; together — they produce white, and in
opposition to this — black. Each color is adopted to a
particular group of feast or fast days.
White, including in itself all the colors of the
rainbow — is the symbol of God’s uncreated light. White vestments are worn on
the great feasts of Easter, Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension and Transfiguration.
Red (or more appropriately, dark red) is worn on
the Sundays of Great Lent, during Christmas Fast, on the feast day of the
Elevation of the Lord’s Cross, and sometimes on the feast days of great
Yellow (actually gold) is the color of glory,
greatness and virtue. It is assigned to Sundays, as the days of the Lord — the
King of Glory; in addition, the Church in golden vestments notes the days of
His special anointed ones — the prophets, apostles and hierarchal saints.
Green is the color of plants and a symbol of new
life — it is used on Palm Sunday and throughout the feast of the Holy Trinity
(until its end).
Sky blue or blue — is the color of the feast days
of the Most Holy Mother of God. It is the color of the sky, and it conforms to
the teaching about the Mother of God, who held the Resident of the Heavens in
Her Most Pure Body.
Black is nearest in spirit to the weekdays of
Great Lent. It is the symbol of renunciation from worldly strife,
it is the color of repentance and strictness to oneself.
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