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This is not a Masonic color, except in some of the advanced Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, where it is a symbol of mourning, and thus becomes one of the decorations of a Sorrow Lodge. Portal (Couleurs Symboliques, page 236) says that this color was adopted for mourning by persons of high rank. And Gampini (Vetera Monumenta) states that violet was the mark of grief, especially among Kings and Cardinals. In Christian art, the Savior is clothed in a purple robe during His passion; and it is the color appropriated, says Court de Gebelin (Monde primetif viii, page 201), to martyrs, because, like their Divine Master, they undergo the punishment of the Passion. Prevost (Histoire des Voltages vi, page 152) says that in China violet is the color of mourning.

Among that people blue is appropriated to the dead and red to the living, because with them red represents the vital heat, and blue, immortality; and hence, says Portal, violet, which is made by an equal admixture of blue and red, is a symbol of the resurrection to eternal life. Such an idea is peculiarly appropriate to the use of violet in the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry as a symbol of mourning. It would be equally appropriate in the first Degrees, for everywhere in Freemasonry we are taught to mourn not as those who have no hope. Our grief for the dead is that of those who believe in the immortal life. The red symbol of life is tinged with the blue of immortality, and thus we would wear the violet as our mourning to declare our trust in the resurrection.

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