Church Calendar - Special Days + Seasons

The Lectionary + Church Calendar

There are three lectionary years (A, B, C).  The Church calendar starts with Advent (December) and runs through Christ the King Sunday (Late November). During the time after the major church seasons (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost), Ordinary time follows two tracks. Track 1 is Chronological - (tracking with the Monarchy during year B) and Track 2 is thematic (tracks with the themes of the Gospel reading).

*Lectionarpage.net is an easy place to keep up with the schedule*

Advent

Advent is the first season of the Christian year. It is a season of longing that leads to Christmas.  Advent reminds us of God’s compassion for all of his children. Through Advent, the present day community of faith connects with the longings and journey of those who went before us. Across decades, centuries, and millennia, humans are united in our universal hopes for deliverance from the things that hold us down and deliverance to the deeper life.

Advent reminds us both of Jesus birth and of the daily presence of the divine in everyone and everything. Advent is a celebration of God slipping into his own world through a tiny crack in the cellar. Advent confronts us and the whole world with the question:  Do we have room for love?

Epiphany

The season of Epiphany, is a continuation of Christmas before turning to Lent and looking toward the Passion. Epiphany celebrates the manifestation (epiphany) of Christ to the Gentiles (symbolized in the Magi), Jesus Baptism,  and Jesus miracle at Cana.

Transfiguration Sunday

The Transfiguration is the interlude between Jesus public ministry and his Passion. It serves as the bridge between Epiphany and Lent. 

Lent

Lent is the forty day season from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday. The Lenten season is a time of repentance and preparation for the coming of Easter. We are reminded of our mortality (dust/ash + death) + our hope (resurrection + life).

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday kicks off Holy Week. It commemorates Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem which set up the dramatic events which lead to the Cross and eventually to Easter.

Easter Sunday

Jesus is Risen! This unexpected twist following the heartbreaking death of Jesus, revealed that love and life have triumphed over death, hate and evil. A new age is upon us and beginning with Jesus, God is making all things new.

Easter Season

Easter spans the 50 days from Easter Sunday until Pentecost. During this most joyful season the Church focuses on the triumph of Christ over sin, death and the grave. Hallelujah! 

The Easter season is made up of the 50 days stretching from Easter Sunday to the celebration of Pentecost. The lectionary readings during this time set the experience of springtime next to the ancient stories of deliverance and the proclamation of the risen Christ. The 50 days allows us to continue to mediate upon the meaning of the Resurrection, encouraging it to seep into every part of our lives. 

The DAY OF Pentecost

Pentecost is the season the church that starts with the coming of the Holy Spirit 50 (pente) days after Easter. It falls on the Jewish Festival of Weeks where the grain harvest was celebrated and traditionally was thought to be when Moses received the Law.

 Trinity Sunday

On Trinity Sunday we join with other Christians around the world and through the ages in honoring the Eternal Loving relationship that is God and who has self-revealed in and through the Trinity.  

Ordinary Time

Ordinary time refers to the two periods in the Church calendar that are not marked by a major church season (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost). The Ordinary time after Pentecost lasts until Advent.

In the Church calendar, Ordinary time is the 24+ weeks between Pentecost and Advent. During ordinary time the weeks are marked by term “Proper #.”

All Saints Day

On All Saints Day, we reflect on those who have gone before in the faith and who are make up the Great Cloud of Witnesses that encourage the living. 

Christ The King Sunday

Christ the King Sunday is the culmination of the liturgical calendar. On this day we celebrate our completion of another year’s journey through the Life of Christ and our anticipation of the Reign of Christ, both present today and still unfolding.