Why we follow the outline of the Christian Year
In our Baptismal Covenant, we promise as a congregation to provide opportunities for each person among us to grow in his/her faith and trust of God so that he/she may be a "true disciple who walks in the way that leads to life."
By following the Christian calendar, we celebrate the central mystery of our faith: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The foundation is Sunday, the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, on which we recall Christ's resurrection: the triumph over sin and death. Each year there are two Christ-centered cycles of preparation, celebration of God's work in Jesus Christ, and learning from that work. The two cycles are the Christmas Cycle (Advent- Christmas and Epiphany- Season of Christmas and Season after Epiphany) and the Easter Cycle (Lent-Easter & Pentecost- and the Seasons of Easter and Pentecost.)
Colors which are meant to help people remember where they are in the cycle, are often used in paraments (altar decorations), banners, bulletins, and communication pieces. Although use of these colors is base on broad ecumenical tradition, other colors have been used and are being used in Christian churches. In our church, we encourage creativity with colors and other signs for days and seasons while we try to teach the traditions which have shown to help folks:
Advent: a deep blue, the color of the dawn before the light comes, also a color often associated with both hope and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Purple is also often used for Advent.
Christmas and Easter (as well as the Baptim of our Lord, Transfiguration, Trinity, All Saints and Christ the King Sundays): white and gold, symbolizing purity and holiness
Epiphany and Pentecost: red, a color of fire, representing the Holy Spirit
The Seasons after Epiphany and Pentecost: green, the color of growth.