What is the Liturgical Calendar?
The Liturgical Calendar marks the seasons of the Christian year, based upon the life and experiences of Christ. The calendar begins with Advent, a season of expectation and renewal as we await the birth of Christ at Christmas. Following Christmas, Epiphany marks the appearance of the star over Bethlehem and the journey of the magi to visit the baby Jesus. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a second season of expectation and renewal as we put our focus upon the Cross of Easter. Holy Week, bookended by Palm Sunday and Easter, relives the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, including Maundy Thursday, where we commemorate the Lord’s Supper. Other festivals in the Liturgical Calendar include the Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, All Saints Day, and Christ the King Sunday. Outside of the special seasons and festivals, the Sundays are identified as Ordinary Time. This term does not place a value on a Sunday as “ordinary,” but is a term that is reflective of the Roman Catholic tradition which used the “Ordinary Mass” on non-feast days.
The Christian Year
The festivals and seasons of the Christian year (or liturgical calendar) offer a way to order the annual life of the church according to the life of Christ and the events of salvation history. The Revised Common Lectionary provides a set of Scripture readings from the Old and New Testaments that is both organized around the Christian year and attentive to the broad themes and narratives of the biblical story.
The Risen Lord, He Qi. Christ’s resurrection is the center of the church’s life and the Christian year
God’s work of redemption in Jesus Christ offers the Church a central pattern for ordering worship in relationship to significant occasions in the life of Jesus and of the people of God. The Church thus has come to observe the following days and seasons: