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Marlow Church of England Infant School

The Seasons of the Church - The Liturgical Year

In the Church of England, one of four colours – purple, green, gold (or white) and red – referred to as ‘liturgical colours’, are used for altar linen, clergy robes and various hangings. At Marlow C of E Infant School, our focus worship table covering follows these colours. The worship leaders change the colour during school worship so that everyone starts to understand that there are different seasons of the school year.


The colour reflects the season, so that for instance in Advent purple is used, a colour of royalty because it is a time of waiting, when Christians are preparing to welcome the coming of a King. Purple is used again in Lent because it also symbolises suffering and pain.

At Christmas and Easter the colour changes to white or gold, both bright colours for festivals, times of joy and celebration.

Between the festivals, known as Ordinary Times, green cloths are used to symbolise all living things, renewal and promise of new life.

And finally, red is the colour of fire, used in churches to celebrate Pentecost and saints’ days.