Learning Liturgical Colors

Last Updated Aug 2012

By Roselyn Smith

Seasons of the liturgical year have distinctive music, prayers, rituals and specific readings. However, the most visible differences during the year involve the colors worn by the clergy. To teach the liturgical year it may be easiest to start with the colors.  

There are six main colors used during the year that have an important meaning. One of the best ways to actually introduce the colors is to have a sacristan bring to your classroom some of the priests’ garments that show the different colors. Better yet would be to have a priest come and show and tell why they change the colors and when.

Activities to reinforce their learning could include one of the following:

  • A wheel with the different liturgical seasons to be colored
  • A crossword puzzle using the colors and their meanings to the liturgical year
  • A handout matching the color to the description
  • Give each student construction paper triangles of “flags” about the size of half a sheet of paper of each of the six colors. Have them write the meaning of the color  on one side of the flag and the time of year used, on the other. Let them hang their flags on the end of the desks and change them as the seasons change.

For the class to connect the liturgical colors to the liturgical year:

  • Help your students notice the liturgical colors by asking them to take note each week what season we are in and the colors used and worn. Perhaps even have a quiz on that just as they get back from the weekly Mass.
  • Make classroom banners with the different colors and display all year, changing as the liturgical year changes.