Posted by: engl2220 | June 18, 2008

Colors of the Catholic Liturgical year

So, I had it a bit wrong in class. Here are the colors of the Liturgical year and when they are used.

Violet – Expectation, Purification and Penance. This is used during Lent and Advent (the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

White or Gold – Joy and Triumph. Used for the Pascal Tridium (Holy Thursday/ The Last Supper, Good Friday, and the following Saturday – So basically the three days before Easter), Easter, Christmas, Holy days and Feasts days.

Red- Royalty, Fire, and Martyrdom. Used on Holy days and Feast days.

Green – Life and Growth. Used for ordinary time. Ordinary Time occurs twice in the Liturgical year. Once from the Epiphany on January 6 until Ash Wednesday. And then again from Pentecost Sunday until Advent.

So I was wrong in the fact that it was ordinary time in the Church so he was wearing red. He would have been wearing green, if that were the case. However, since he began his journey on November 1 or All Saints Day the church would have been wearing red for the day since lots of Saints are Martyrs and if nothing else is considered “royalty” of the church in a way. So I was right but didn’t know it!

Also, I found out about the joyful mysteries. I was confusing the Joyful and the Glorious Mysteries today in class. First of all the joyful mysteries are one part of the entire rosary, which includes four different mysteries. Those parts are the joyful mysteries, the sorrowful mysteries, the glorious mysteries, and the light/ luminous mysteries. Each contains five decades in which we as Catholics pray a series of prayers in each decade including ten Hail Mary’s. Each decade is associated with a particular “mystery” in which the love and faithfulness of the Lord and Christ was revealed to Mary throughout her life on earth and in Heaven. The Joyful Mysteries include (in order) the Annunciation of the Angel to Mary. This is when the Angel Gabriel went to Mary tell her that she was carrying Jesus Christ, the son of man. The second is the Visitation of Mary to Saint Elizabeth. This is when Mary visits her cousin whom is pregnant at an old age. It is by God she is pregnant and when Mary touches her stomach the baby inside leaps. At this time Elizabeth proclaims the child, a boy, will be a child for the Lord. Her son is born he is later to become known as (Saint) John the Baptist who baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. The Third is the Nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem. This is self explanatory, Jesus’ birth. The fourth joyful mystery is the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. This is in accordance with the Laws of Moses that the first born male of every family should be brought to the temple and consecrated to the Lord. The fifth and final joyful mystery is finding Jesus in the Temple. When Jesus was twelve he was celebrating the Passover with his parents and suddenly wonders off. After three days of searching Joseph and Mary find him in the Temple among doctors and other “intelligent” people. Everyone is amazed at the wisdom of Jesus. It is at this time that Jesus tells them, “Why did you search for me. Don’t you know I am in my father’s house?”

We say the different mysteries on different days: Sunday’s and Wednesday’s – the Glorious Mysteries, Monday’s and Saturday’s – the Joyful mysteries, Tuesday’s and Friday’s – the Sorrowful Mysteries, and Thursday – the Light/ Luminous Mysteries.

We believe that Our Lady of Fatima (a vision of Mary) appeared to different people teaching them how to pray the Rosary and saying “pray the rosary every day.” We believe by doing so it brings us certain graces.

So with all this (way more than you ever wanted I am sure) I began to ask why the Joyful mysteries would be so much more fitting for the pentangle than the others. Well the obvious thing to me at first was that the other four points were “positive” ones, such as his knightly virtues. The Joyful Mysteries are one of the more “happy” mysteries. They all deal with Jesus being revealed to Mary and then reinforced as the Son of God. But maybe it is just me reading into it too much but I didn’t feel that sufficed. Is there anything I do not know about the life and culture at this time that might lead to a more suitable answer for why it was the Joyful Mysteries over the others? I’m probably looking into it WAY too much as I often do!F



  1. I’m afraid I’ve exhausted most of my knowledge of medieval
    religion, but I did find this online, which is interesting and
    might explain WHY the poet chose the five joyful mysteries as
    opposed to the other ones, as the virtues associated with the
    joyful mysteries are more appropriate to a medieval knight who was, of course, defender of the faith:

    “In the Catholic Church, there are surrounding the life of Christ,
    a series of fives to be remembered: the five joyful mysteries, the
    five sorrowful mysteries, and the five glorious mysteries. Each
    mystery is meant to remind believers of various virtues as
    expressed in the life of Mary and Christ. The five joyful mysteries
    are the annunciation (love of humility), visitation (charity toward
    my neighbor), presentation (virtue of obedience), nativity (spirit
    of poverty), and finding in the temple (virtue of piety). The five
    sorrowful mysteries are the crowning with thorns (moral courage),
    agony in the garden (true contrition), carrying of the cross
    (virtue of patience), scourging at the pillar (virtue of purity),
    and crucifixion (final perseverance). The final five are the
    glorious mysteries: the resurrection (virtue of faith), the
    ascension (virtue of hope), the assumption of the Blessed Virgin
    Mary (devotion to Mary), the descent of the Holy Spirit (love of
    God), and the crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary (eternal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: