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Vestments for Lent

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It is, in a nutshell, a month of fasting and penance preceding Easter. Christians reflect on Christ's sacrifice on the cross throughout this season and beg God to pardon sins. It all comes to a head during Holy Week and Easter when the victory of the Resurrection is commemorated.

Purple for Lenten Liturgical Vestments

We would be looking at the usage of the color purple during Lent, which has a number of symbolic meanings. Historically, we can recall that Jesus wore a purple robe throughout His crucifixion. This garment belonged to Herod the Great and was the most valuable color in the Roman Empire. Purple-clad individuals were almost always royalty, as they were the only ones who could afford it.

Because Jesus was addressed as the King of Kings, the insulting gesture of clothing Him in a purple robe reflected His royal status. As a result, Purple's link with royalty is crucial to its liturgical use throughout Lent.

Also, theologically, Purple has come to symbolize the offense that surrounds man's misdeeds, and people now take on this suffering because of their sins, just as Jesus was insulted for being royal.

Purple has a somber meaning as a result of its link to the Passion. We are reminded of what has been done for us when we see the purple robes and church decorations.

Passover also conjures up images of sacrifice. According to the Bible, the Jews slaughtered a lamb and used its blood to paint their doorways. That blood spared their firstborn males' lives from God's vengeance against Egypt, and this judgment forced Pharaoh to release them. As a result, the lamb gave its life for those Jewish men, just as Christ gave His life for sins to be forgiven.

During Advent and Lent, violet or Purple is worn as a symbol of penance, sacrifice, and preparation.

The use of Purple for lenten vestments and occasion now provides three meanings: Christ's majesty, His agony and death for sins, and the arrival of spring. With your church clergy putting on this vestment for lent, that's a lot to ponder about this year!

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