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Our Current Liturgical Season … ORDINARY TIME

 

What is Ordinary Time?

Ordinary Time is the longest portion of the Church year, and fills the weeks which do not celebrate a specific aspect of the mystery of Christ. The Christmas cycle honors the birth of Christ. The Easter cycle rejoices in the resurrection. Ordinary Time is devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects.

Ordinary Time: meaning ordered or numbered time, is celebrated in two segments: The first segment begins on the day following the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which ends the Christmas Season, through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season.

Ordinary Time resumes after the Easter Season on the Monday after Pentecost, and continues until evening prayer on the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent.

The Church counts the thirty-three or thirty-four Sundays of Ordinary Time, inviting her children to meditate upon the whole mystery of Christ – his life, miracles and teachings – in the light of his Resurrection.

Sunday by Sunday, the Pilgrim Church marks her journey through Ordinary Time as she processes through time toward eternity.

Feast Days

Of course, many feast days and solemnities occur in Ordinary Time for example: The Most Holy Trinity, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ,

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saints Peter and Paul, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints, and All Souls, Christ the King.

Christ the King always falls on the 34th Sunday of Ordinary Time. So, we determine the week number after Pentecost not based on where we left off before Lent, but counting backward from Christ the King.

While insisting that the feasts that commemorate the mysteries of salvation take precedence, the Church nonetheless includes the celebration of the feast days of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints in the liturgical calendar. "By inserting into the annual cycle the commemoration of the martyrs and other saints on the occasion of their anniversaries, 'the Church proclaims the Easter mystery of the saints who suffered with Christ and with him are now glorified.' (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 102) When celebrated in the true spirit of the liturgy, the commemoration of the saints does not obscure the centrality of Christ, but on the contrary extols it…"

"The intrinsic relationship between the glory of the saints and that of Christ is built into the very arrangement of the liturgical year, and is expressed most eloquently in the fundamental and sovereign character of Sunday as the Lord's Day."

Liturgical Color

The Vestments are usually green, symbolizing life, hope and growing in the Lord.Vestments of White (Celebrations) and Red (Martyrs) are also worn during Ordinary Time.

Symbol for Ordinary Time

The Chi Rho is a Christian symbol that dates from the early Church. It is comprised of the first two letters of the Greek word for Messiah, Christos—the letter Chi looks like the letter "X", and the letter Rho looks like the letter "P." This abbreviation became a symbol representing Jesus Christ.

The Easter Mystery Celebrated in Ordinary Time

Families are challenged to keep the Easter mystery alive in their "domestic churches" throughout the season of Ordinary Time; to focus on the mysteries of Christ which the Church sets before them in the weekly Readings from the Lectionary and to apply those Readings to their daily lives. In this way, faith will bear fruit within their homes, intensifying through the fertile weeks of Ordinary time until its conclusion, the crowning feast of Christ the King.

Joyful Expectation at Year's End

At the close of every Liturgical Year may we look forward with renewed hope to Christ's coming again in glory to reign as Lord forever. For it is Jesus Christ we seek when we strive to live the Liturgical Year with the Church. He is the "Lord of time; he is its beginning and its end; every year, every day and every moment are embraced by his Incarnation and resurrection, and thus become part of the 'fullness of time'."

Families are challenged to keep the Easter mystery alive in their "domestic churches" throughout the season of Ordinary Time; to focus on the mysteries of Christ which the Church sets before them in the weekly Readings from the Lectionary and to apply those Readings to their daily lives. In this way, faith will bear fruit within their homes, intensifying through the fertile weeks of Ordinary time until its conclusion, the crowning feast of Christ the King.