Christian practice, beginning to be regularized from about 12th cent., of specifying particular colours for vestments and altar hangings, according to the season in the W. Church's year, on the occasion of a particular day. Thus white is generally commended for the two festival periods, Christmas
to the Sunday after Epiphany, and from Easter Day to Pentecost Week, for days celebrating saints, and for Trinity Sunday
; red for Pentecost Week, Holy Week
, days commemorating martyrs, and sometimes for confirmation
; violet/purple during Advent and Lent, and (if black is not used) for funerals and the commemoration of All Souls; and green on other occasions.
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