Monday, February 15, 2010


One of my fun duties at our church is changing the banners.  I am one of the young people at our church so  I don't mind going up on a ladder and changing the banners (mainly in the altar area though sometimes on the sides, I don't understand how we decide to put up the side ones ( that is known to Betty)).

I went to the Y this morning and since I was 70% of the way to the church (cheap me not wanting to waste gas), I went to the church and changed the White Banners (Transfiguration Sunday) for the Purple Banners (Ash Wednesday(should be black but we don't have black banners) and Lent).  Before getting into the banner changing profession I never noticed that much the banners or their color.  Below is the ELCA colors and meanings:

The Meaning and Use of Liturgical Colors

In the Christian tradition colors are used for vestments and paraments, but a unified system of colors developed only gradually and haphazardly until and through the Middle Ages. Today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America provides a system of colors for use by its congregations; for the most part, the same system is also used by Roman and Anglican churches, at least in the United States; and by many churches around the world, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

The colors serve to adorn the worship space, and to call attention to the nature of the season or festival being celebrated. A brief summary of their usage, according to the church year, follows.

Advent: Blue is used for its references to hope. It originated in Scandinavia, probably because purple dye was too expensive for churches to use. The alternate color for Advent is purple, the royal color of the coming King (note that this is a different meaning than when it is used in Lent; see below).
Christmas: White is used, as a reference to the purity of the newborn Christ, and to our light and joy in him.
Epiphany of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Baptism of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Sundays after the Epiphany: Green is used for its symbolism of our growth in Christ. Green, in a sense, is a "neutral color," used when more festive or more somber color is not appointed.
Transfiguration of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).
Ash Wednesday: Black is the preferred color, since it is the color of the ashes to which we will all return. Purple is the alternate color for this first day of Lent.
Lent: Purple is indicated, as the stark color of repentance and solemnity.
Sunday of the Passion: Scarlet is the preferred color of this first day of Holy Week, as it suggests the deep color of blood. (Scarlet is to be distinguished from the brighter color of red, which is appointed for the Day of Pentecost, martyrs’ days, and certain church celebrations). If a parish does not have scarlet vestments, purple may be used.
Days of Holy Week: Scarlet or purple may be used for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week.
Maundy Thursday: For this fourth day of Holy Week, celebrated as the institution of the Lord’s Supper, scarlet or white is used.
Good Friday: No vestments or paraments are used on this day, after the stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday night.
Vigil of Easter: White as the color of joy in the Resurrection is used on this night.
Easter Day: On this one day of the church year, gold may be used. White is the alternate, perhaps with gold running through it. The gold color indicates that this day is the "queen of feasts," unique in the entire church year.
Sundays of Easter: White (see Vigil of Easter).
Day of Pentecost: Red as the color of fire is used on this day when we remember the tongues of fire descended on the crowd in Jerusalem. In contrast to the color of scarlet, Pentecost’s red is a bright color.
The Holy Trinity: White is appointed, the expression of joy in the mystery of the Triune God.
Other Sundays after Pentecost: Green is used, to indicate our growth in faith as we follow the teachings and ministry of Christ.
Christ the King: The final day of the church year uses white, a festive color of light, joy, and the celebration of our Lord.
Lesser festivals and commemorations are white, unless a martyr is celebrated, in which case bright red is used.

So I will go as far as I can into rock and roll carrying my Christian banner.  Cliff Richard

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. - Song of Solomon 2:4.

Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner;  Exodus 17:15

We will sing for joy over your victory,And in the name of our God we will set up our banners May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. Psalm 20:5

banner (n)  a long strip of cloth bearing a slogan or design, hung in a public place or carried in a demonstration or procession • a flag on a pole used as the standard of a monarch, army, or knight.  • figurative an idea or principle used to rally public opinion  
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French baniere, ultimately of Germanic origin and related to band

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