What Color to Wear on Maundy Thursday: A Guide for All

what color to wear on maundy thursday

Maundy Thursday is a significant day for Christians around the world. It commemorates the Last Supper, where Jesus shared a meal with his disciples before his crucifixion. On this day, many people attend church services, observe rituals like foot-washing, and engage in acts of charity.

Choosing the appropriate color to wear on Maundy Thursday is crucial because it reflects the reverence and solemnity of the occasion. This guide is designed to help you understand the significance of colors on Maundy Thursday and choose the perfect one for your attire, regardless of your religious beliefs.

The Traditional Colors for Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday is a significant event in the Christian calendar, commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion. Every year, people from all parts of the world participate in various religious observances to honor this holy day.

On Maundy Thursday, the traditional colors associated with this day hold a deep religious significance. The three main colors that have been used for centuries are white, purple, and green.

The color white symbolizes purity, innocence, and new beginnings. It represents the freshness and new life that Christ brought to the world through his sacrifice. White is the primary color associated with the celebration of Maundy Thursday in the Roman Catholic Church.

Purple, on the other hand, represents penance, humility, and repentance. It has been associated with Lent, the period of reflection and repentance leading up to Maundy Thursday, and the sacrifice of Christ. Purple is the primary color associated with the celebration of Maundy Thursday in the Anglican Church as well as some other denominations.

Green is a symbol of growth, hope, and renewal. It represents the resurrection of Christ and the new life that he brought to the world. Green is the primary color associated with the celebration of Maundy Thursday in the Lutheran Church.

The Historical and Religious Significance of Each Color

White has been the traditional color for Maundy Thursday ever since the early Church. The color white is a symbol of Christ’s purity and holiness, and it represents his triumph over death and sin. It is a reminder that Christ’s sacrifice made it possible for humanity to be freed from sin and to start anew.

Purple has been used as a liturgical color since the early Church, and it has been associated with penance and repentance. It serves as a reminder of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice, as well as our own need for repentance and redemption. During Lent, the color purple is used to reflect on the seriousness of our sin and our need for forgiveness and renewal.

Green has been associated with Maundy Thursday since the Middle Ages, and it symbolizes the hope and renewal that comes with Christ’s resurrection. The color green represents the new life that Christ has brought into the world, and it serves as a reminder that he has conquered death and sin through his sacrifice on the cross.

Understanding the religious significance of each color can help us choose the appropriate color for our attire on Maundy Thursday, as we reflect on the meaning of this holy day and honor its traditions.

Choosing the Best Colors for Maundy Thursday Attire

When it comes to selecting the perfect color for Maundy Thursday attire, several factors come into play. Individual preferences, cultural influences, and desired spiritual connections all play a role in determining the best shade to wear on this holy day. Here are some tips to consider when choosing the right color:

  • Think about the traditional colors: As discussed earlier, there are traditional colors associated with Maundy Thursday. Consider the religious and historical significance of these colors and whether they resonate with you.
  • Respect the dress code: If attending a religious service, it is essential to be aware of the dress code and ensure your attire is respectful and appropriate.
  • Consider personal expression: While respecting the traditional colors, don’t be afraid to add your personal touch. Choose a shade that reflects your personality or cultural background.

Some of the best color options for Maundy Thursday attire include:

ColorSpiritual Significance
PurpleRepresents royalty and penitence
WhiteSymbolizes purity and new beginnings
GreenRepresents growth and renewal

Alternative color options that maintain a respectful and appropriate tone while still allowing for personal expression include navy blue, black, and gray.

Ultimately, the most important consideration when choosing the color for Maundy Thursday attire is to wear something that resonates personally and reflects the intended reverence for this holy day.

Understanding the Symbolism of Each Color on Maundy Thursday

Colors play a crucial role in religious celebrations, and Maundy Thursday is no exception. Each color has its own symbolic meaning, representing various aspects of this holy day. Understanding the symbolism of each color can help you make an informed decision about the color of your attire.

WhiteWhite symbolizes purity, innocence, and holiness. It represents the spotless and perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who gave his life for the redemption of humanity.
RedRed symbolizes the blood of Jesus, which he shed on the cross to save us from our sins. It signifies his sacrifice and love for humanity.
GreenGreen represents new life and growth, signifying the hope and renewal that come with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
PurplePurple symbolizes royalty, penance, and mourning. It represents the solemnity and sacrifice of this holy day, as well as the repentance and humility required of us as believers.

It is essential to choose a color that reflects the intended symbolism and reverence for this holy day. Whether you choose to wear traditional colors or alternative options, your attire should convey respect and personal connection to the significance of Maundy Thursday.

Tips for Styling Maundy Thursday Outfits

Choosing the right color for Maundy Thursday attire is just the first step towards creating a respectful and appropriate outfit. Here are some practical tips for styling your Maundy Thursday outfit:

1. Dress Modestly

Maundy Thursday is a solemn occasion, and your outfit should reflect that. Avoid wearing anything too revealing or flashy. Opt for clothing that covers your shoulders, chest, and knees. Clothing that is loose and comfortable will help you stay focused on the significance of the day.

2. Accessorize Thoughtfully

The right accessories can elevate a simple outfit and add to the spiritual significance of the day. Consider wearing a simple cross necklace or bracelet, or a prayer shawl. Avoid anything that is too flashy or distracting.

3. Consider the Color Scheme

When choosing your outfit, consider the color scheme of the environment you will be in. If you will be attending a worship service, take note of the colors used in the decor and try to complement them with your outfit. For example, if the altar is draped in red, consider wearing a black or white outfit to create a striking contrast.

4. Choose Comfortable Footwear

You may be standing or kneeling for extended periods of time during a Maundy Thursday service, so choose comfortable footwear that will support your feet. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes with uncomfortable straps or buckles. Opt for comfortable flats or loafers instead.

5. Remember the Importance of Reverence

Above all, remember that Maundy Thursday is a holy day that requires reverence and respect. Your outfit should reflect your recognition of the importance of the occasion. Avoid anything that is too flashy, attention-grabbing, or distracting. Keep your outfit simple and elegant, allowing the significance of the day to take center stage.


Choosing the right color for Maundy Thursday attire is more than just a fashion choice; it carries deep religious and cultural significance. By understanding the traditional symbolism of each color and considering personal preferences and cultural influences, you can choose an attire that reflects reverence for this holy day.

Remember to prioritize modesty, comfort, and respect in your outfit choices. You can express your individual style and creativity while still maintaining the appropriate tone for this occasion. At the end of the day, the most important aspect is to wear a color that resonates with you spiritually and reflects your intention of honoring this solemn day.


Q: What color should I wear on Maundy Thursday?

A: The traditional color to wear on Maundy Thursday is white. However, other colors such as purple, red, and green are also commonly associated with this holy day.

Q: Why is choosing the right color important on Maundy Thursday?

A: The color you wear on Maundy Thursday can symbolize different aspects of this holy day, such as purity, royalty, sacrifice, and new life. It is a way to visually represent your reverence and connection to the religious significance of Maundy Thursday.

Q: Are there specific dress codes for Maundy Thursday attire?

A: There is no strict dress code for Maundy Thursday, but it is recommended to dress modestly and respectfully. It is also important to consider the traditions and customs of your specific religious community when choosing your attire.

Q: Can I wear colors other than white on Maundy Thursday?

A: Yes, while white is the traditional color, other colors such as purple, red, and green are also considered appropriate for Maundy Thursday attire. These colors hold their own symbolism and can still convey the spiritual significance of the day.

Q: What does the color white symbolize on Maundy Thursday?

A: White symbolizes purity, innocence, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It represents the cleansing and renewal associated with this holy day.

Q: What does the color purple symbolize on Maundy Thursday?

A: Purple symbolizes royalty, repentance, and preparation. It is associated with the passion and suffering of Jesus Christ.

Q: What does the color red symbolize on Maundy Thursday?

A: Red symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ shed during his crucifixion. It represents the sacrifice and love that he showed for humanity.

Q: What does the color green symbolize on Maundy Thursday?

A: Green symbolizes hope, renewal, and growth. It represents the new life and salvation that Jesus Christ brings.

Q: How can I style my Maundy Thursday outfit?

A: It is recommended to choose modest and comfortable clothing that reflects the reverence of the day. You can accessorize with items such as a cross necklace or a brooch representing the Last Supper. Consider incorporating the chosen color into your outfit through accessories or clothing items.

Q: Can I incorporate patterns or prints into my Maundy Thursday outfit?

A: It is best to stick to solid colors or subtle patterns that do not distract from the overall significance of the day. Avoid loud or flashy prints.