Lent Home Altar - liturgical color, purple

(These are just suggestions; use them as a starting point)

Suggested supplies and location:

Have a place to put a small cloth, a cross, maybe standing or leaning against something else, and one or more candles. For Lent through Easter, you may like to have the following supplies:

  • Candles, optionally including purple, red, and white.
  • Cloths or placemats, purple, red, black, and white
  • Drapes/Veils of thin material in purple, red and black


Ash WednesdayFeb. 17, 2021 Liturgical color: purple

Gather a small amount of ashes. If you have a dry palm frond from last year, this is ideal. Burn a palm frond, a few dry sticks, or other dry plant material, carefully, in a heatproof or metal dish, down to ashes. Put these in a small dish in front of your cross. You may wish to have a purple cloth in your space and consider a purple drape or veil on your cross. Consider arranging dried sticks or thorns in your space or using purple candles.

Remainder of Lent: Feb. 18-March 27, 2021

Remove the ashes, but the altar is the same, dry sticks or thorns, purple cloth and purple drapes.

Palm Sunday: March 28, 2021. Liturgical color: red

Gather palm fronds which we will make available to parishioners. Arrange these in vases or on your altar. Use red candles if you wish. You may choose to drape your cross in red as well.

Maundy Thursday: 4/1/2021. Liturgical color: red

Remove the palms. Leave the red cloth and drapes. Have a small bowl of water and a small pitcher and cloth to symbolize the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus. Have a piece of bread on a small plate and a small amount of wine in a glass to represent the Eucharist on your altar. At the end of the evening strip your altar, removing all the candles and the cloths and leaving bare wood.

Good Friday: 4/2/2021. Liturgical color: none or black

Consider draping your cross in black this day, or you may choose to remove the cross from your altar. No candles. Your altar may have just bare wood or a black cloth.

Holy Saturday: 4/3/2021. Liturgical color: black or none until Easter vigil, then white.

Keep your altar bare or in black until 8 pm, then put out a white cloth, white candles, white Easter lilies or white flowers. Go all out! This is celebratory. Light your candles at the Easter vigil and ring some bells!

Easter Sunday: 4/4/2021: Liturgical color: white

Continue your celebration of the Resurrection with white flowers and cloths.


The National Cathedral has a variety of offerings for Lent and Easter. Check them out.