My mother in law asked for help regarding the color Black. What it symbolize in the Church, etc. Any ideas : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Can anyone help me find some information on the color black? My understanding is my mother-in-law has to give a five minute discourse for the Womens Missionary Society at her local Church. I would appreciate any help.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2003


Black - Unity, judgement, freedom from sin This is why on "Good Friday" at our churches we have the black colors on the altar. The day he was crucified was the day we became one with Christ, Free from sin, No condemanation in Christ Jesus became our song, He was Judged for us.

Hope this helps

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

WHAT DO COLORS STAND FOR? Most colors have several meanings, but they are closely connected with each other. Here are a few examples: Blue stands for sky, heaven, and water. Green may also be water, but it generally means hope, the color of spring, the renewal of life, feed for animals, and thus, food for humans. Green also means poison, because arsenic, known in most ancient times, is green, and so are many poisonous sulphates. In more recent times, many poisons were manufactured in green powder form, in order to differentiate them from flour or sugar. Green also symbolizes jealousy, and fear, both of them deadly poisonous emotions. Red is the color of blood; hence, it represents courage, sacrifice. Black is death, the underworld, mourning, desolation. White is purity, chastity, but it's the color of mourning in the Far East. Isn't white as pure, or as empty as black? It's also the color of surrender, because a piece of white on a pole could be seen from a great distance, and could not be mistaken for any kind of flag. White means cowardice, too, because some people surrender for no other reason than to save themselves. Gold or yellow means the sun, sungod, wealth. Yellow, however, also represents envy, treachery, cowardice. A yellow flag on a ship signifies contagious disease. In the Western world, yellow is the symbol of a certain type of sensation seeking, destructive journalism, because the most vicious kind of news was printed on colored (yellow) paper to incite the curiosity of the public. Purple is emblematic of rank and authority. It's derived from the ancient, expensive dye prepared from the purple fish (purpura in Latin, porphyra in Greek). Purple robes were worn by Roman emperors and, later, by high ranking prelates of the Christian church. Scarlet, a yellow-red hue of very high saturation, is also a sign of dignity and high rank. Originally, it was a kind of Persian broadcloth, used for tents and flags. The textile was often dyed this particular red and, eventually, the name of the cloth became synonymous with the color. Scarlet, however, is also applied in an opprobrious manner, to women of ill repute. This association is due to Revelations XVII, 1 - 6. Blue, scarlet, purple, and gold are the colors of the priests' garments, as listed in Exodus. Gray means colorless, figuratively as well as literally.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

I apologize for not adding that the above entry came from

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

In terms of Liturgical colors that are used in the church, in Protestant churches it is up to the Pastor what colors he/she will use. In my church my daughter and I use Purple during advent and Lent. Gold for easter, Red for Pentecost. I never use Black stoles. For on Good Friday I do not wear a stole just a robe which is black. Below are the traditional Liturgical colors for the Protestant church. Blue, light blue is gaining popularity for Advent now among many clergy. The salvation army ministers wear black stoles on good friday and by the way the salvation army has its roots in the wesleyan tradition. Here are the liturgical colors.

Following is the predominant practice concerning use of liturgical color:

Christmas Cycle:

Advent—purple or blue. Christmas (12 days)—white and gold. The Epiphany of the Lord (January 6)—white and gold.

Ordinary Time:

January 7 through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday—green, EXCEPT FOR: Baptism of the Lord—white. Transfiguration of the Lord—white.


Ash Wednesday through first five weeks—purple. Passion/Palm Sunday—red and/or purple. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week—purple. Maundy Thursday—purple (until church is stripped bare). Good Friday and Saturday in Holy Week—No color since the church remains stripped bare.

Easter Cycle:

Easter Season (including Ascension of the Lord)—white and gold. Day of Pentecost—red.

Ordinary Time:

Monday after Day of Pentecost through Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent—green, EXCEPT FOR: Trinity Sunday—white. All Saints' Day (or First Sunday in November)—white. Christ the King—white.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

It is undeniable that the word "black" carries a pejorative meaning both in the Bible as well as in popular language (i.e. black mail, black market, black sheep etc.). However the Bible also associates wholesome and edifying attributes to black as seen in the reference to one of the Four Horsemen (black horse) in Revelation symbolizing justice. I suspect this is why judges in the US wear "black robes". Now that I think about it the most important financial compliment a company can receive from a reputable CPA is a finding of that comany being "in the black". "Black tie" affairs signals the best in formal clothing and attire. All of the vital data for aerospace travel is contained in the "black box". Without the black box it is nearly impossible to understand the causes of unexpected airline crashes. I could go on but I think you get my point. QED

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

Thanks Bill. I kinda enjoyed the others dancing around the issue but you fell right in.

Be Blessed

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

What? Dancing around the "issue", I just love your comments.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

Rev. Nicole -

I didn't know the church you co-pastor with your husband encourages dancing :-) I have "hear on the street" the next Presiding Prelate for the 3rd District. QED

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2003

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