Yes! That’s correct, you’re not color blind, blue hangings and vestments are now adorning our sanctuary during Advent. First and foremost, the entire set is a memorial gift in memory of Marcia Baker given by Claudia Osborn. Marcia’s favorite color was blue; she only knew there was blue paint. We thank her for her generous gift to the worship of our community.
Secondly, Collette Pariseau designed and created all these beautiful hangings and vestments. The new blue vestment and hanging set was approved by the memorial committee, altar guild and rector. I hope you take time to thank Claudia and Collette for this marvelous liturgical arts gift.
Now, I’ll answer that question I’m sure you have, “Why blue for Advent and not purple?” Historically, the primary color of Advent has been purple. This is the color of penitence and fasting as well as the color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King. Purple is still used in some traditions (e.g. Roman Catholic). Purple is also the color of suffering used during Lent.
That is one of the reasons for the liturgical change to blue; to separate the two church seasons and give each its particular emphasis. This color change also reflects a seasonal shift from penitence to hopefulness. Advent is the hopeful time of preparation that anticipates both Bethlehem and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, blue is the color of hope, expectation, confidence and anticipation.
This new liturgical trend of nearly thirty years follows the Sarum Rite (an old English rite) used during the Middle Ages, many call this Advent blue Sarum Blue. Consequently, proponents of blue for Advent encourage Episcopal Churches to acknowledge their Anglican identity. Most Protestant denominations now use blue for Advent.
Episcopal bishops are enthusiastically supporting this liturgical change, advocating
churches to change to blue for Advent. I’m please that we have this beautifully, stunning blue set to distinguish the two season. Advent blue compliments the banners which points out that the churches liturgical colors are green, red, white, purple and blue.
May we enjoy these new blue altar hangings and vestments and may they remind us
of Mary, the mother of Jesus, whose traditional color is blue.