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Colors of the Church Year
and Seasonal Dates, 2016

The Dates below are for the Church Year 2016,  Year C  of the Revised Common Lectionary and  Year 2  of the Daily Office of the Book of Common Prayer, beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, 2015.

The Dates of the Church Year, RCL  Year C , 2015-2016

Colors Season Dates Alternate
Dark Blue Blue Advent Nov 29-Dec 12 Blue Violet Purple
Pink* 3rd Wk of Advent Dec 13-Dec 19 Rose*
Dark Blue Blue Advent Dec 20-23 Blue Violet Purple
Dark Blue Blue Christmas Eve Dec 24 Blue Violet Purple
White Gold Christmas Dec 25-Jan 5 White Yellow
White Gold Epiphany Jan 6-9 White Yellow
Green After Epiphany Jan 10-Feb 6 Lt. Green
White Gold Transfiguration Feb 7-9 White Yellow
Purple Ash Wednesday Feb 10 Gray
Purple* Ash Wed/Lent Feb 10- Mar 19 Red Violet*
Purple Palm Sunday Mar 20-24 Red**
Purple Maundy Thursday Mar 24 Red**
Purple Black Good Friday Mar 25 //// No Colors ////
Black Holy Saturday Mar 26 //// No Colors ////
White Gold Easter Mar 27-April 2 White Yellow
White Gold Eastertide Apr 3-May 4 Red**
White Gold Ascension Day May 5 [Sun May 8] White Yellow
White Gold Eastertide May 6-14 Red*
Red Pentecost Sunday May 15-21 Red Gold
White Gold Trinity Sunday May 21-May 28 Red**
Green Ordinary Time May 29-Oct 31 Lt. Green Bronze
  Aqua Olive
Red** All Saints Day or Sunday Nov 1 [or the next Sunday] White Gold
Green Ordinary Time Nov 2-19 Lt. Green Bronze
  Aqua Olive
White Gold Christ the King Nov 20-26 White Yellow

 * In some churches, Pink or Rose is used the Fourth Sunday of Advent; in Catholic and Anglican traditions, Pink or Rose is also used the Third Sunday in Lent.

** In some churches, Red is used only on Pentecost Sunday and the following week.

In the chart above, with the exception of Advent, more traditional colors are in the left column and alternate colors in the right column. Some Protestant church traditions use only traditional colors, including purple for Advent, while others are more free to use alternate colors within the basic sequence. Where two colors are given for a particular Sunday, either color is appropriate.  For example, for Advent either Dark Blue or Bright Blue can be used if using Blue (many Protestants), or either Purple or Blue Violet are appropriate if using Purple (Catholic traditions). The exceptions are Holy Days in which White and Gold (or White and Yellow) are usually used together, with White being the primary color. For more detailed information on each Season of the Church Year, visit the page for that Season (The Church Year).

Metallic Silver is sometimes used for, or with, white, especially at Easter and Christmas.  Likewise Metallic Gold can be used for gold or yellow.  While some traditions (Roman Catholic, for example) still use for purple for Advent, there is a trend to use a bluish violet for Advent and deep red violet for Lent.

In most traditions, the sanctuary cross is draped in color only during Lent (purple), Good Friday (black), and Easter (white).  Some churches leave white on the cross through Eastertide, drape the cross in red for Pentecost Sunday, and then leave the cross undraped until the beginning of Lent the next year.  Usually the cross is not decorated during Ordinary Time, nor during the Holy Days of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany both because the focus is not yet on the cross, and because the Greens of Advent and the other symbols of the Christmas season carry the visual message of that season.

Click below for information about the various Seasons and Holy Days that comprise The Christian Church Year. Except as noted, the dates are for 2015-2016 Year C , of the Revised Common Lectionary, Year 2  of the the Daily Office (daily readings) of the Book of Common Prayer. (For a more complete calendar, see The Church Year, 2016)

Advent Year C  (Nov 20 - Dec 24, 2015)
Christmas (Dec 25, 2015 - Jan 5, 2016)
The Twelve Days of Christmas (Dec 25, 2015 - Jan 5, 2016)
Epiphany (and Ordinary Time until Lent) (January 6 - Feb 9, 2016)
Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Feb 9, 2016)
Ash Wednesday (Feb 10, 2016)
Lent (Feb 10 - Mar 26, 2016)
Holy Week (March 20 - March 26 [27], 2016)
Maundy Thursday (March 24, 2016)
Good Friday (March 25, 2016)
Easter (March 27, 2016)
Pentecost (May 15, 2016)
Ordinary Time (May 22 - Nov 26, 2016)

Advent [Year A] (Nov 27 - Dec 24, 2016)

Dates of the Church Year, RCL Year C, 2016 (2015-2016)
Dates of the Church Year, RCL Year A, 2014 (2013-2014)
Dates of the Church Year, RCL Year B, 2015 (2014-2015)

-Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © 2015, Dennis Bratcher - All Rights Reserved
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