Are you sitting comfortably?
Long, long ago, when I was only just learning about colours and seasons in the church (having come from a cords, brown shoes, check shirt and horn-rimmed glasses church background) I went away on a weekend course teaching us about liturgy.
Friday came and went and every step was a new piece of information about the seasons, morning prayer, evening prayer and, can you believe it, night prayer too! We were invited to join one of the many groups doing prayer at the end of the first day. This was wall-to-wall revelation time for me and it was here that I learned that complign was actually complin (even though it is spelled 'compline' of course) and how it spoke of 'completeness' and the the of the day.
Saturday came and after morning prayer (the night has passed and the day lies open before us . .) we were treated definitions, descriptions and means of handling Psalms and greater and lesser endings, collects and BCP vs modern variants of them. The Gloria was explained (along with why some looked at their shoes during the first bit of it) and the means by which multiple Psalms could be said without returning to it each and every time. We discussed antiphonal readings (which being paid to sing Gregorian stuff was something, probably the only thing in fact, I actually knew about!) and the purpose of the Psalm in worship (NO, it cannot be used to replace one of the other set readings).
Lunch came and a few of us decided, having seen the scoff, to absent ourselves and visit the local hostelry for pie and a pint. Returning just a tad late there were three of us who, having signed up for the same 'break out' session, crept stealthily into the back of the lecture theatre.
The woman lecturing having finished her introduction then moved on to the session proper and it went a little like this:
"one of the tings that I really like to do is to have my clothes match the colours of the liturgical season we are in. For instance I have discovered that H&M do a really nice range of suspender belts, bras and knickers in gold for Christmas and Easter Sunday . . . ."
The three of us looked at each other and wondered what on earth was going on. I wondered whether our absence had been noted and what we were experiencing was a set-up, but 'No', she continued to explain how certain clothing outlets sold purple items of 'intimate apparel' (what she described beautifully) for Lent and Advent,
Green, for ordinary time was limited to but a few shops whilst most outlets stocked red (for Pentecost and certain saint's days).
White was easy to find anywhere and so was merely passed by with a cursory note about easter, Christmas and others festivals when you didn't want to wear your gold stuff!
I was surprised to hear that whilst many shops stocked black, this was only worn by her on All Saints and Good Friday!
Seems that the biggest problem was getting good coloured tights that were sheer for if one was not careful you'd end up with Norah Batty tights (which of course would never do)!
The lecturer went on to explain that she didn't usually disclose the underwear thing but as this was a ladies only group she felt that it was safe to do so. She then proceeded to tell the group how we were going to do an exercise with the church's calendar and what colours we thought (or perhaps knew) would be right for them and as they started to pass the papers back, the three of us crept out before we were rumbled.
A little later, during afternoon tea, we found a couple of other people who had also been signed up for our break out group and discovered that due to numbers we had been moved into the, much smaller, chapel.
Which is where we went for the remainder of the session.
Mind you, I've never forgotten the colours of the liturgical calendar.
And the women lecturer?
Her identity is safe lest her face matches her intimate apparel come Pentecost :-)
Beggars the question though .. . . . . . "What colour are yours?