What Color to Wear on Holy Thursday: A Guide for Men and Women

It’s that time of the year again, Holy Thursday. The day that commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ and his disciples before his crucifixion. This day is an occasion of great significance for Christians all over the world, and as like every other major holiday, the question of what to wear always pops up. As a believer, wearing the right color is a way of showing respect and reverence for the day. So, what color should you wear this Holy Thursday?

The answer is quite simple – white. White is a symbol of purity and holiness, and as such, it is the most appropriate color to wear for Holy Thursday. It represents the pure heart of Christ and the purity of his message. It is also a symbol of the Eucharist, which is an essential part of the Holy Thursday mass. As you sit in the pews and reflect on the importance of this day, you can do so knowing that you are dressed appropriately.

However, it is important to note that not all Christian denominations follow this tradition. Some may opt for other colors such as red, which represents love and sacrifice or green, which represents growth and renewal. Nevertheless, white is the most widely accepted color, and wearing it is a sure way to show your respect and honor for this very important day in the Christian calendar.

Significance of Holy Thursday in Christianity

Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, is the Christian holy day that falls on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples before his betrayal, arrest, trial, and crucifixion. For Christians, the significance of Holy Thursday is multifaceted, representing the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples, the institution of the Eucharist or Holy Communion, and the act of washing his disciples’ feet as a symbol of humility and service.

What color to wear on Holy Thursday?

  • The liturgical color for Holy Thursday is white, which symbolizes purity, innocence, and the light of Christ. White also represents the hope and promise of the resurrection and the triumph of life over death.
  • Some traditions also suggest wearing red on Holy Thursday to symbolize the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the blood he shed for the redemption of humanity. Red also represents the love and passion that Jesus had for his followers.
  • Other churches may choose to wear green on Holy Thursday, which symbolizes new life, growth, and the renewal of faith that comes through the resurrection.

Other Holy Thursday Traditions

In addition to the color of clothing worn on Holy Thursday, there are several other traditions associated with the holy day. These may include:

  • The reenactment of the Last Supper and the sharing of Communion among members of the congregation.
  • The symbolic washing of feet, which represents the act of service and humility that Jesus demonstrated to his disciples.
  • The stripping of the altar, which represents the abandonment and betrayal of Jesus by his followers and symbolizes the impending darkness and death of the crucifixion.


As one of the most significant days in the Christian calendar, Holy Thursday holds deep spiritual meaning and significance for believers around the world. Whether one chooses to wear white, red, or green on this holy day, it is important to remember the love, sacrifice, and service of Jesus Christ and to reflect on the message of hope, renewal, and redemption that he brought to humanity.

Liturgical Color Symbolism
White Purity, innocence, light, hope, and promise of resurrection
Red Sacrifice, love, and passion
Green New life, growth, and renewal of faith

Table: Summary of liturgical colors and their symbolism for Holy Thursday

Symbolic colors in Christianity

Color is a significant component of Christian worship and is used to emphasize different themes and events of the church.

  • White: It is the symbol of purity, innocence, and holiness. This color is typically worn during Christmas and Easter, the most important events in Christianity.
  • Red: It is the color of fire, blood, and love, and it represents the Holy Spirit and the Pentecost. It is also worn on Palm Sunday and during the feasts of martyrs.
  • Purple: This color symbolizes royalty, penance, and humility. It is used during Lent, Advent, and as a sign of repentance and mourning.

What color to wear on Holy Thursday?

Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, commemorates the Last Supper when Jesus shared the meal with his disciples before his crucifixion. Christians mark the occasion with various customs, including the Eucharistic celebration and the washing of the feet ceremony.

Traditionally, the color worn on Holy Thursday is white. However, in some traditions, it is customary to wear red or purple. The use of white is symbolic of the purity and sanctity of the Last Supper and represents the hope of the Resurrection of Jesus.

On the other hand, Christian denominations that focus more on the Passion of Christ tend to use the color red or purple on Holy Thursday, as it represents the pain and suffering that Jesus went through and the ensuing crucifixion.

Color Symbolism
White Purity, Innocence, Holiness
Red Fire, Blood, Love, Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Martyrs
Purple Royalty, Penance, Humility, Repentance, Mourning

Ultimately, the choice of color for Holy Thursday is a matter of personal and cultural tradition. Nonetheless, it is essential to remember that the primary focus of Holy Thursday is the Last Supper and to commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Significance of Color in Religious Clothing

The importance of color in religious clothing is deeply rooted in tradition and symbolism. Different colors are associated with different meanings and emotions, making them a powerful tool for expression and communication within religious communities. Here are some insights into how color is used in religious clothing:

The Meanings Behind Colors in Religious Clothing:

  • White – purity, innocence, and light
  • Black – mourning, humility, and penance
  • Red – passion, love, and sacrifice
  • Green – hope, growth, and renewal
  • Purple – royalty, penance, and humility
  • Gold/Silver – wealth, glory, and divinity

Color Symbolism in Holy Thursday Clothing

In Christian tradition, Holy Thursday marks the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. It is a solemn occasion that commemorates the washing of feet and the establishment of the Holy Eucharist. Therefore, the colors worn on Holy Thursday are rich in symbolism and convey a deep sense of reverence and respect. The most common colors for Holy Thursday are:

  • White – symbolizing purity, innocence, and the priesthood of Christ
  • Red – symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his bloodshed for the forgiveness of sins
  • Gold – symbolizing the divinity and glory of Christ, as well as the treasure of the Church

Some churches may also use green or purple, depending on their tradition and symbolism. For example, green symbolizes hope and renewal, while purple represents penance and humility. It is advisable to check with your local church or parish to determine the appropriate color for Holy Thursday clothing, as the traditions and customs may vary depending on the local community.

The Bottom Line

Color plays a significant role in religious clothing, with each color conveying a unique meaning and emotion. Holy Thursday is a solemn occasion that calls for respectful and reverential clothing. The most common colors worn on Holy Thursday are white, red, and gold, symbolizing purity, sacrifice, and divinity. However, the appropriate color may vary depending on local traditions and customs, so it is best to check with your local church or parish. Ultimately, the choice of color should reflect a deep respect and reverence for the significance of the occasion.

Color Meaning
White Purity, innocence, and light
Black Mourning, humility, and penance
Red Passion, love, and sacrifice
Green Hope, growth, and renewal
Purple Royalty, penance, and humility
Gold/Silver Wealth, glory, and divinity

Table 1 – Meanings Behind Colors in Religious Clothing

History of Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, is a significant event in the Christian community. It is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his apostles before his crucifixion. The celebration of Holy Thursday originated in the early Christian church and has been a part of Christian tradition for over two thousand years.

  • The Last Supper: On the night of Holy Thursday, Jesus and his disciples gathered together for a meal, which is commonly known as the Last Supper. During the meal, Jesus blessed the bread and wine and shared it with his disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” This ritual is the origin of the Christian tradition of the Eucharist or Communion.
  • The Foot Washing Ceremony: Another important ritual that takes place on Holy Thursday is the washing of feet. This ceremony commemorates the act of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as a symbol of his humility and love for them. The Pope traditionally performs this ceremony, and it is also practiced in some churches and communities around the world.
  • The Betrayal of Judas: Holy Thursday also marks the betrayal of Jesus by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot. After the Last Supper, Judas led the Roman soldiers to Jesus, which ultimately led to his crucifixion.

In many Christian communities, Holy Thursday is a day of fasting and prayer. It is the beginning of the Triduum, which is a period of three days leading up to Easter Sunday. During this time, Christians reflect on their faith and the sacrifice that Jesus made for them. The color to wear on Holy Thursday is traditionally white, which symbolizes purity and innocence.

Date Year Day of the Week
April 9 2020 Thursday
April 1 2021 Thursday
April 14 2022 Thursday

In conclusion, Holy Thursday is a significant event in the Christian calendar that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his apostles. It is a time for reflection, fasting, and prayer. The color to wear on this day is traditionally white, which symbolizes purity and innocence.

Customs and traditions of Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, is one of the most significant days in the Christian calendar. This day commemorates the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his Apostles before his crucifixion. Christians around the world celebrate this day with various customs and traditions.

  • Washing of feet: On Holy Thursday, many churches perform the ritual of washing of feet, symbolizing the humility and service of Jesus Christ. The priest or leader of the church washes the feet of 12 people, representing the 12 Apostles.
  • Mass of the Lord’s Supper: The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is a significant part of Holy Thursday. During this mass, the priest typically washes the feet of 12 people and celebrates the Eucharist, or Communion.
  • Visiting churches: Many Catholics visit seven different churches on Holy Thursday, a practice known as the Seven Church Pilgrimage. This tradition is meant to represent the seven stops that Jesus made during his journey to the Calvary.

One of the significant decisions for Christians attending a Holy Thursday ceremony or mass is determining what color to wear. The color plays a vital role in expressing the essence of the day, and each color has a different meaning. Here is a table breaking down what each color represents:

Color Meaning
White Represents purity and new beginnings, symbolizing the Last Supper.
Green Symbolizes growth and hope, emphasizing the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection.
Purple A symbol of penance and humility, representing the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Red Represents the Holy Spirit and God’s love, symbolizing the blood shed by Jesus during his crucifixion.

As such, it is customary to wear white on Holy Thursday, symbolizing purity and new beginnings, the central themes of the Last Supper and the Christian faith. However, it is not uncommon to see people wearing purple or red on this day, as these colors represent penance, sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, the essential aspect of Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper, Christ’s sacrifice, and his message of love and service that is central to the Christian faith.

Clothing etiquette for religious events

Attending religious services can be as much about worshiping God as it is about dressing appropriately. Different religious events have their unique dress codes, which can be confusing for first-timers. When it comes to dressing up for a holy Thursday service, here are some etiquettes to keep in mind:

  • Modesty is key: Avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing or fitted as they can distract others during the service. Instead, opt for something modest that covers your arms and knees.
  • Choose respectful attire: Depending on the type of service, you may need to wear formal or traditional clothing. Check with the clergy or the invitation to know what’s acceptable. Avoid wearing anything with offensive slogans or symbols.
  • Avoid flashy accessories: Jewelry and accessories that are too noticeable can take away from the intended focus of the event. Keep things simple and understated.

If you’re not sure what to wear for holy Thursday, you can always seek guidance from your church leaders or members of the community. Dressing appropriately shows respect for the event and the people involved, and it can also help you feel more connected to your faith and the service.

Here’s a recommended list of clothing items to wear and avoid for holy Thursday:

Recommended Avoid
Dress/skirt and blouse Shorts and tank tops
Dress pants and shirt Ripped, stained, or wrinkled clothing
Jacket or sweater Clothing with offensive or inappropriate slogans or artwork
Closed-toed shoes Flip-flops or sandals
Hijab or head covering (if required by your faith) Excessive makeup or hair accessories

Keeping these guidelines in mind can help you dress appropriately for holy Thursday and other religious events. Remember, the ultimate goal is to show respect, honor, and reverence for the occasion and everyone involved.

Differences in clothing across Christian denominations

While Holy Thursday holds immense significance in the Christian community, the clothing of the worshippers may differ based on their denomination. Here, we take a closer look at the differences in clothing across Christian denominations.

  • Catholicism: Catholics often wear white or cream-colored clothing to symbolize purity and new beginnings. This tradition stems from the washing of feet ceremony that takes place on Holy Thursday, where Jesus washed his Apostle’s feet as a gesture of service and humility.
  • Eastern Orthodox: Orthodox Christians may wear black clothing during the Holy Week to symbolize mourning and repentance. The color may change to white on Holy Thursday, representing the light after the darkness of sin.
  • Protestantism: Protestants do not have a specific dress code for Holy Thursday. However, some may opt to wear black clothing to represent mourning and sorrow, while others may wear white or colorful clothing to signify the joy that comes with the celebration of Easter.

In addition to the above differences in clothing, some Christian denominations may require specific attire for religious leaders or choir members. For example, Anglican priests may wear a cassock and surplice during Holy Thursday services, while Presbyterian choirs may wear robes of different colors to represent their position in the church hierarchy.

Below is a table outlining some common dress codes across different Christian denominations:

Denomination Color Attire
Catholicism White or cream-colored No specific attire
Eastern Orthodox Black (may change to white on Holy Thursday) No specific attire
Protestantism No specific color No specific attire
Anglicanism No specific color Cassock and surplice for priests
Presbyterianism No specific color Ropes of different colors for choir members based on hierarchy

No matter the denomination or dress code, the importance of Holy Thursday lies not in the clothing but in the symbolic representation of humility, sacrifice, and service.

Meaning behind the color choices for religious clothing

Religious clothing plays an important role in various faiths and is often linked to certain beliefs and practices. The choice of color for religious garments is also significant and has a spiritual connotation. Here, we will delve into the meaning behind the color choices for religious clothing.

The significance of the number 8

The number 8 is a symbol of new beginnings, resurrection, and regeneration in Christianity. Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday is the day on which Christians commemorate the last supper of Jesus Christ and his disciples. It marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum, which concludes on Easter Sunday. The number 8 has a special significance during this period.

  • Eight days of Passover: The Holy Thursday falls on the eighth day of the Jewish festival of Passover, which commemorates the exodus of Jews from Egypt.
  • New Beginning: The eighth day of Holy Week is significant as it is a new beginning, symbolizing Christ’s triumph over death and the beginning of a new life.
  • Eight beatitudes: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ taught the eight beatitudes, each of which serves as a guideline for righteous living.

Several Christian denominations use the color white or gold on Holy Thursday. The white color represents purity, innocence, and holiness. It symbolizes the purity of Christ, who died on the cross to redeem mankind and rose from the dead to offer a new beginning to his followers.

Color Significance
White or Gold Symbolizes purity, innocence, and holiness, represents Christ’s triumph over death, and offers a new beginning.

The use of the color white during Holy Thursday also signifies the Eucharist, the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, which is celebrated on this day. The color gold is also used in many churches, symbolizing the glory and majesty of Christ.

In conclusion, religious clothing and color choices have a significant meaning, and the number 8 has a special importance during Holy Thursday. The use of white or gold serves to bring significance to the Eucharist, resurrection, and regeneration.

Origin of Colorful Religious Vestments

The use of colorful religious vestments during holy celebrations, such as Holy Thursday, can be traced back to ancient times where garments were used not just for practical purposes but also as a symbol of religious significance. Here are a few insights into the history of colorful vestments and how they evolved over time.

  • During the early days of Christianity, it was not uncommon to see priests wearing everyday clothes in church services. However, as the religion grew in popularity, so did their need to distinguish themselves from the common people who worshiped alongside them. This led to the development of special garments that were designed to symbolize their elevated status and their role as intermediaries between God and humanity.
  • In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church became the dominant religious institution in Europe, and vestments played an important role in their worship services. The colors and styles of the garments worn by the priests and bishops were determined by the liturgical calendar, which established the themes and colors for each of the religious festivals throughout the year.
  • During this time, the use of gold, silver, and other precious materials in the design of religious vestments became more common, reflecting the importance of the Church in the life of the community. The fabric used for these garments was often tinted with vibrant colors and embroidered with intricate patterns, making them some of the most beautiful works of art of the Middle Ages.

As time passed, religious vestments continued to evolve and reflect the changing styles and customs of the times. Today, they are still an important part of worship services in many religious traditions, and the colors and designs used in these garments still hold important symbolic significance.

The Number Nine

In the Catholic Church, there are nine traditional liturgical colors that are used for the various holy days throughout the year. Each color has a specific meaning and significance, and the choice of color reflects the theme of the day or season. These colors are as follows:

Color Meaning Season/Feast Day
White Purity, Joy Christmas, Easter, Feasts of Our Lord and Virgin Mary, All Saints Day
Gold Celebration, Triumph Christmas, Easter, Feasts of Our Lord and Virgin Mary, All Saints Day
Red Love, Sacrifice, Martyrdom Good Friday, Pentecost, Feasts of the Holy Spirit and Martyrs
Green Growth, Life Ordinary Time
Purple Penitence, Penance Advent, Lent
Black Mourning, Sorrow Funerals, All Souls Day
Pink Joy, Rejoicing Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent), Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent)
Blue Hope, Trust Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Silver Reverence, Purity Feast of St. Paul and St. Peter

As you can see, the number nine is significant in the Catholic Church’s color-coding system for holy days. Each color is carefully selected to reflect the meaning and significance of the event it represents and provides a visual reminder of the religious symbolism associated with it.

Factors that can influence clothing choice for Holy Thursday

Choosing the appropriate color to wear for Holy Thursday is not the only factor to consider when dressing up for this solemn occasion. Here are some other important factors that can influence clothing choice for Holy Thursday:

  • Tradition: Depending on one’s religious tradition, there may be a specific dress code or attire for Holy Thursday. For example, some denominations may require wearing veils, shawls, or head coverings.
  • Cultural customs: Different cultures have their unique customs and traditions in terms of dressing up for religious occasions. Holy Thursday may be celebrated differently in different parts of the world, and it’s essential to respect and adhere to local customs.
  • Location and climate: The location and climate can also influence clothing choice. Those attending Holy Thursday services in a tropical country may opt for lighter clothing material, while those in a colder region may need to wear warmer clothes.
  • Type of service: Depending on the type of Holy Thursday service, one may need to dress up more formally or more casually. For instance, a daytime service in a garden may permit more relaxed clothing compared to an evening service in a grand cathedral.
  • Type of church or denomination: Different churches and religious denominations may have varying vestment colors and dress codes for Holy Thursday. It’s essential to research and inquire beforehand to avoid any confusion or inappropriate attire.
  • Personal preference: Ultimately, one’s personal preference should also be considered when choosing what to wear for Holy Thursday. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the occasion is a solemn and sacred one, and the outfit should reflect reverence and respect.

Colors Associated with Holy Thursday

Now that we’ve discussed the essential factors to consider when choosing what to wear for Holy Thursday, let’s talk about the colors that are typically associated with the occasion. The traditional color for Holy Thursday is white, symbolizing purity, innocence, and the light of Christ. Additionally, some churches and religious traditions may incorporate other colors into their vestments and liturgies. Here’s a table that shows some of the colors used:

Color Symbolism
White Purity, Innocence, Light of Christ
Green Renewal, Growth, Hope
Red Martyrdom, Passion, Love
Purple Repentance, Mourning, Royalty

It’s important to note that the colors used may vary depending on the specific church or religious tradition. As mentioned earlier, it’s best to research and inquire beforehand to avoid any confusion or inappropriate attire.

FAQs: What color to wear on Holy Thursday?

1. What is the significance of wearing a certain color on Holy Thursday?
Wearing the proper color on Holy Thursday is a sign of respect and reverence for the occasion. The color symbolism represents the solemnity and significance of this holy day.

2. What is the traditional color for Holy Thursday?
The traditional color for Holy Thursday is white. White represents purity, innocence, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

3. Are there any other colors that are appropriate for Holy Thursday?
Yes, another appropriate color for Holy Thursday is red. Red represents the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our salvation.

4. Can I wear black on Holy Thursday?
Black is traditionally associated with mourning and is therefore not recommended for Holy Thursday. The focus of this day is on the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist, which is a celebration.

5. What should I do if I don’t have anything in white or red?
If you don’t have anything in white or red, you can wear another color that represents the purity, sacrifice, and holiness of Holy Thursday. Blue, green, and gold are also colors that you can consider.

6. Can I wear accessories or jewelry on Holy Thursday?
Wearing accessories or jewelry is acceptable, provided that they do not distract from the reverence of the occasion. Keep it simple and modest.

7. Does the color of clothing matter if I am attending a virtual Holy Thursday event?
Yes, the color of clothing still matters, even if you are attending a virtual Holy Thursday event. It is important to show respect for the holy occasion, regardless of the setting.

Closing Title: Thank you for reading!

I hope this article has helped you in choosing the appropriate color to wear on Holy Thursday. Remember to show reverence and respect for the occasion, even through your choice of clothing. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you again soon.