The Christian (or Church) Year
Different parts of the Christian faith are celebrated during the twelve months of the year. The seasons of the Christian Year are Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter. The rest of the year is referred to as ‘Ordinary Time’ as there are no other special seasons to celebrate. The Christian (or Church) Year also consists of Saints Days, Festival and Holy Days. These seasons and days make up the Christian (or Church) Calendar. Some festivals, like Christmas Day, happen on the same date every year, while others, like Easter, do not.
The seasons in the Christian Year follow the life of Jesus a bit like a story.
The church uses different colours at these different times: white and gold for the light, joy, and purity of Christ, Mary and the saints; red for the blood and fire of the Holy Spirit, martyrs and the Cross; purple or blue for penitence and preparation for Advent and Lent; green for hope and the creation, and at all the other times of the year.
These colours can be seen in the church in the altar frontal, the pulpit fall and bible book marks. They can also be seen in the outer vestment, or chasuble, and the embroidered scarf, or stole, of the priest. See how different colours are used at St James's at different times of the year on the page Colours of the Christian Year.