The word "ordinary" comes from the word "ordinal", which simply means counted time. When we see the word "ordinary", it might sound common, mundane or just plain boring to our ears. But those connotations couldn't be further from the truth!
The liturgical color is green, symbolizing the growth and life of the Church after the coming of the Holy Spirit. This season after Pentecost is a crucial season that reminds us of the rhythms of the spiritual life - reaping and sowing, work and rest, doing and being and so forth. In Ordinary Time, we digest and act upon what God revealed to us in our recent journey from Advent all the way to Pentecost Sunday. And we then step into the specific areas where God is calling us forward.
Pentecost, which means "fifty", is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday. It is one of the great feast days where we celebrate the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit. The liturgical color is red, which reminds us of the tongues of flame descending on the faithful. Pentecost is when we encounter the consummation of Jesus' earthly ministry with the coming of The Advocate, The Counselor, the gift of the Holy Spirit!
"Alleluia! He is Risen!"
The clarion call of Eastertide, a season devoted to celebrating and living into the Resurrection of our Risen Lord. We bask in this glorious season for 50 days until we reach Pentecost Sunday (June 4), where we celebrate the arrival of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
The Lenten season is aimed at something very specific - Eastertide. But to be even more specific: Lent culminates in Holy Week, the most important week in the entire church calendar. During this week, we keep close company together as we follow Jesus on His journey. Lent simply isn't complete without Holy Week.
In Holy Week, we don't just remember what happened in the final week of Jesus' life; we live into it and make it our own. We wave the palms and shout, "Hosanna!", we betray Jesus with a kiss and we wait to be raised to new life in the Resurrection. Walking into - and experiencing - the growing darkness that escalates as we move from Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday to Good Friday to Holy Saturday enables us to know a profound depth of joy on Easter Sunday!
Let's embark on the great journey of Holy Week together. (And invite others alongside you on this journey!) Service times are below and I'd encourage you to plan your calendar around these services. Make them a priority and orient your schedule around them, rather than seeing if you can fit them in. Walking the path Jesus walks changes us and that's profoundly true of Holy Week.
Lent, taken from the Old English word meaning "to lengthen" usually falls on the cusp of spring when the days begin to lengthen. This season began as a journey of preparation for those who would be baptized on Easter Sunday and for those re-admitted to the congregation of the faithful after separation due to notorious sins in the community.
Lent is rich, contemplative season of repentance which mirrors the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, where He was tested by the devil. It's a season of intense, intentional spiritual house cleaning - allowing the Lord to sift through the places where sin has marked our lives. This season focuses on themes like sacrifice and self-denial and is traditionally embodied in three the Lenten disciplines: reflection, fasting and alms giving.
In Epiphany, God shows us His vast heart and His redemptive plan for the entire world. This season is all about the manifestation ("epiphany") of Jesus Christ not only to the Jews, but to all nations. So, we focus on the far-reaching light of Jesus - a light that shines into every corner of the world and reaches all people. That's why we focus on stories such as the 3 Magi who journeyed for months on end to worship the baby King. In Epiphany, we encounter afresh our mission as the Church as we remember God's unswerving intentions to draw all people unto Himself.
Advent is a season of eager expectation and active waiting. But waiting for and expecting what exactly? Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means "coming". And while many people associate this season with Jesus' 1st coming (His birth), Advent actually celebrates Christ's 2nd coming and His rule as the King of kings. Advent calls us to remember the Incarnation in order to remind ourselves to be ready and prepared for His return in glory (Rev. 22:20).
Advent also inaugurates the new year in the life of the Church, so it's a fitting time of new beginnings and fresh hope. It's a penitential, reflective season of self-assessment - a time of re-orientation for our hearts and a time to take stock of our lives - and has often been called "Little Lent".