Symbol of purity, it is used on all Feasts of Our Lord except those relating to the Passion, all Feasts of Our Lady, and on the Feasts of Saints who are not Martyrs.

Red: Symbol of blood and fire, it is used on all Feasts of Martyrs and Apostles, Pentecost Sunday, and Feasts connected to the Passion.

Green: Symbol of hope, it is used on Sundays from Epiphany to Septuagesima and on the Sundays after Pentecost.

NOTE: The Church permits the use of gold vestments instead of White, Red, or Green, provided that the vestments be of pure cloth of gold.

Violet: Symbol of penance, it is used during Advent and Lent and on the Vigils of the greater Feasts. Vestments of rose instead of violet may be worn on only two days of the liturgical year: the Third Sunday of Advent [Gaudete Sunday] and the Fourth Sunday of Lent  [Laetare Sunday].

Black: Symbol of mourning, it is used on Good Friday, and in Masses of the Dead.


Solemnity, negation, sickness, death.

Black and White: Humility, purity of life.

Black and Red: Satan.

 Blue: Heavenly love, unveiling of truth. Traditional color of St. Mary, the Blessed Virgin. Azure blue pigment was always the most expensive and thus the only paint color considered worthy to use for the sky in images of the Virgin.

Brown: Renunciation of the world, spiritual death and degradation.

Gray: Ashes, humility, mourning. the mortality of the body and the immortality of the soul.

Green: Spring, triumph of life over death, charity, regeneration of soul through good works, hope.

Pink: Grace, perfect happiness, gentility, admiration.

Purple: Royalty, imperial power (God the Father).

Red: Love, hate, sovereign power.

Red and White: Unity.

Violet: Love, truth, passion, suffering. The color of the Mater Dolorosa either somewhere on her clothing or as a background color, sometimes a pale violet. Sometimes Christ is depicted wearing a purple robe before His Passion and when descending into Hell [Abode of the just before the Redemption on the Cross].

White [and or Gold]: Innocence of soul, purity, holiness of life. The color of Jesus' robe at and after the Resurrection; the color of the Virgin's robe at the Immaculate Conception and Assumption.

Golden Yellow: The sun's glory, the bounty of God, marriage, fertility, Divine light.

Pale Yellow:
Dingy; infernal light, degradation, jealousy, treason, deceit, the color of Judas' robe in art.


Black: The Benedictines, Augustinians, Jesuits, Cowley Fathers, Passionist Order.
Gray: The Franciscans, The Gray Nuns.
Dark Brown: if the reformed branch.
White: The reformed branch of the Benedictines, Cistercians, Praemonstratensians, the Order of the Holy Cross.
Black Over Whiter: The Dominicans.
White Over Brown: The Carmelites.