We’re Still Red

I was asked why we’re still using red paraments (the cloths that hang down from the altar, pulpit, and lectern) in the Season after Pentecost (sometimes known as Kingdomtide) when the liturgical calendar says we’re supposed to use green. I can assure you there is a method to the madness.

It’s important to note that, as far as I know, there was never a decree handed down from on high or a decision made by an ecumenical council on what liturgical colors should be used when. Instead, the schedule of liturgical colors developed organically over centuries—and that means it’s got some flexibility.

This brings us back to red instead of green paraments. This year there are 24 Sundays after Pentecost. If we strictly followed the liturgical calendar, that would be a lot of green. So we’re following what I understand to be an older tradition of continuing to use red during the first part of the Season after Pentecost. We’ll be switching to green soon.