For those of us who remain classical prayer book Anglicans this coming Sunday is Passion Sunday. The unbleached white of the Lenten Array will be put away and the altar and the vestments of the clergy will again be red, but this time the dark red of dried blood. Of course, those among us who follow the usage of Pius V - you remember him, the fellow who excommunicated Elizabeth I - will still be using violet as good Pius legislated when he introduced his 'reformed' Tridentine version of the Roman liturgy. That is to show everyone what good 'catholics' they are when a really good Catholic is known for following the rules of the liturgy to which he was ordained. And that, of course, presumes that they know them or even know that they exist.
The marvelous thing about the English or Anglican colour usage is that like most things truly Anglican it is scripturally based. That of the Roman rite can make, as far as I can see, no such claim. The two major Anglican colours are white and red with a festal and ferial version of both. More accurately white is the festal colour being used for the major feasts of our Lord and the virgin Mary while the brighter version of red is used for the Sundays after Epiphany and those after Trinity. But then we also have the toned white of the Lenten Array for the first four Sundays in Lent and the ferias following while the darker version of red is used from Passion Sunday through the first part of the Easter Vigil save for the white of the Maundy eucharist and the black of Good Friday. Now I should think that we all understand the Scriptural basis of the use of white, but just how many Anglicans or others know where in Holy Scripture and on what day in the ancient lectionary system our Lord claims red for his very own colour? And, yes, it is in the Book of Common Prayer.