3 Rarely used colors in the liturgy and their meaning

Rose, black and blue are colors that aren’t used very often, but have profound spiritual significance.


Most Catholics are familiar with the colors of green, violet and white whenever they attend Mass on Sundays. Occasionally the priest will wear red, but that only happens a few times during the year.

Even rarer are the colors of rose, black and blue. Here is a brief rundown of these three colors and why they are used.

  1. Rose (aka “pink”) – This color, which is only used twice in the whole liturgical year, is traditionally associated with a sense of joy amidst a season of penance.
  2. Black – More commonly seen before the reforms of Vatican II, black is still a valid option for funerals and is worn by some priests. Black has been associated with mourning since ancient Rome and traditionally symbolizes death.
  3. Blue – A fully blue vestment is only allowed in certain places, but can also be seen as an accent color for white vestments. Blue is a very important color in the artistic traditions of Christianity and has deep spiritual meanings that bring out different attributes of the Blessed Mother.

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