A Short Guide to Christian Color Meanings
The Bible is full of sacral symbols that reflect spiritual truths and allow going deeper into the Christian teaching. Colors are among those symbols. Understanding Christian iconography and Scriptures requires the believer to see beyond the images and learn about the origin of each color. Here is a short guide to Christian color meanings you should know about. Check it out!
A short guide to Christian color meanings
Generally, this color symbolizes youth, love, and life. People used to believe that the red color could protect them from evil spirits and chase away demons. Christian color meanings slightly differ from the traditional ones. In Christianity, red means sacrifice, death, and sinfulness. The liturgy often associates it with the Passion of Christ and refers to the Holy Spirit. The clergy wear red vestments during the feasts of the Apostles, martyrs, and the Trinity services.
Christian icons depict the Virgin Mary in a blue vestment. It is a symbol of chastity, purity, and perfection. Blue is also the color of the heavens, so it is associated with the Celestial Kingdom. Moreover, this symbolic color signifies the healing power of God and His word.
Antique Russian icons are often painted with many golden details, including a gold background. In ancient art, gold or yellow was a symbol of greatness and light. It also frequently appears in liturgical services and the vestments of the clergy and can replace any other clerical color. Gold in iconography indicates the Lord’s eternal glory and His immense power.
White is one of the primary colors in the Christian tradition. It is the color of joy, divine origin, and purity. A perfect example from Orthodox iconography is the icon of the Transfiguration where the light of Tabor makes the garments of Christ and His disciples white.
Black symbolizes eternal darkness, sin, and the devil. In the liturgy, it also indicates humility and modesty.
In ancient art, purple was the most beautiful color. In Christianity, it has become a symbol of God’s sacraments and high spiritual rank. It is also the required color during memorial services.
As you can see, Christian color meanings may differ slightly from our common beliefs. It is important to remember that understanding Christian iconography and teaching is impossible without knowledge of the symbols they contain.