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Colors of the Church Year
and Seasonal Dates, 2021

The Dates below are for the Church Year 2021,  Year B  of the Revised Common Lectionary and  Year 1  of the Daily Office of the Book of Common Prayer, beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, 2019.

The Dates of the Church Year, RCL Year B, 2020-2021

Colors Season Dates Alternate
Dark Blue Blue Advent 1-2 Nov 29-Dec 12 Blue Violet Purple
Pink* 3rd Wk of Advent Dec 13-Dec 19 Rose*
Dark Blue Blue Advent 4 Dec 20-24 Blue Violet Purple
Dark Blue Blue Christmas Eve Dec 24 Blue Violet Purple
White Gold Christmas Dec 25-Jan 5 White Yellow
White Gold Epiphany Jan 6 White Yellow
Green After Epiphany Jan 7-Feb 13 Lt. Green
White Gold Transfiguration Feb 14-16 White Yellow
Purple Ash Wednesday Feb 17-20 Gray
Purple Lent Feb 17-Apr 3 Red Violet
Rose* [Laetere Sunday]
(Lent 4)
[March 14] Rose*
Purple Palm Sunday Mar 28-31 Red**
Purple Maundy Thursday Apr 1 Red**
Purple Black Good Friday Apr 2 //// No Colors ////
Black Holy Saturday Apr 3 //// No Colors ////
White Gold Easter Apr 4-10 White Yellow
White Gold Eastertide Apr 11-May 22 Red**
White Gold Ascension Day May 13 White Yellow
Red Pentecost Sunday May 23-29 Red Gold
White Gold Trinity Sunday May 30-Jun 5 Red**
Green Ordinary Time Jun 6-Oct 31 Lt. Green Bronze
  Aqua Olive
Red** All Saints Day or Sunday Nov 1 [or the next Sunday] White Gold
Green Ordinary Time Nov 2-20 Lt. Green Bronze
  Aqua Olive
White Gold Christ the King Nov 21-27 White Yellow

 * In some churches, Pink or Rose is used the Fourth Sunday of Advent; in Catholic and Anglican traditions, Pink or Rose is also used the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetere Sunday).

** In some churches, Red is used only on Pentecost Sunday and the following week.

In the chart above, with the exception of Advent, more traditional colors are in the left column and alternate colors in the right column. Some Protestant church traditions use only traditional colors, including purple for Advent, while others are more free to use alternate colors within the basic sequence. Where two colors are given for a particular Sunday, either color is appropriate.  For example, for Advent either Dark Blue or Bright Blue can be used if using Blue (many Protestants), or either Purple or Blue Violet are appropriate if using Purple (Catholic traditions). The exceptions are Holy Days in which White and Gold (or White and Yellow) are usually used together, with White being the primary color. For more detailed information on each Season of the Church Year, visit the page for that Season (The Church Year).

Metallic Silver is sometimes used for, or with, white, especially at Easter and Christmas.  Ivory can also be used for white.  Likewise Metallic Gold can be used for gold or yellow.  While some traditions (Roman Catholic, for example) still use for purple for Advent, there is a trend to use a bluish violet for Advent and deep red violet for Lent.

In most traditions, the sanctuary cross is draped in color only during Lent (purple), Good Friday (black), and Easter (white).  Some churches leave white on the cross through Eastertide, drape the cross in red for Pentecost Sunday, and then leave the cross undraped until the beginning of Lent the next year.  Usually the cross is not decorated during Ordinary Time, nor during the Holy Days of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany both because the focus is not yet on the cross, and because the Greens of Advent and the other symbols of the Christmas season carry the visual message of that season.

Click below for information about the various Seasons and Holy Days that comprise The Christian Church Year. Except as noted, the dates are for 2020-2021 Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary, Year 1  of the the Daily Office (daily readings) of the Book of Common Prayer. (For a more complete calendar, see The Church Year, 2021)

Ordinary Time Year A  (June 1 - November 28, 2020)

Advent Year B  (November 29 - December 24, 2020)
Christmas (December 25, 2020 - January 5, 2021)
The Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25, 2020 - January 5, 2021)
Epiphany (and Ordinary Time until Lent) (January 6 - February 16, 2021)
Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (February 16, 2021)
Ash Wednesday (February 17, 2021)
Lent (February 17 - April 3, 2021)
Holy Week (March 28 - April 3, 2021)
Maundy Thursday (April 1, 2021)
Good Friday (April 2, 2021)
Easter (April 4, 2021)
Pentecost (May 23, 2021)
Ordinary Time (May 24 - November 27, 2021

Advent  Year C  (November 28, 2021)

Dates of the Church Year, RCL Year B, 2021 (2020-2021)
Dates of the Church Year, RCL Year C, 2019 (2018-2019)
Dates of the Church Year, RCL Year A, 2020 (2019-2020)

-Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © 2020, Dennis Bratcher - All Rights Reserved
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