Celebrating Liturgical Seasons
Growing by Experiencing the Feasts and Seasons of the Church Year
Ordinary Time is the liturgical period outside of the other liturgical seasons, and runs 33 or 34 weeks. In Latin, Ordinary Time is called Tempus Per Annum ("time throughout the year"). The season falls between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent, exclusive.
The Latin Tempus Per Annum ("time throughout the year") is rendered into English as "Ordinary Time." Many sources suggest that Ordinary Time is derived from the word ordinal, meaning "numbered," since the Sundays of Ordinary Time, as in other seasons, are ordered numerically.
However, other sources suggest the etymology of "Ordinary Time" is related to our word "ordinary" (which itself has a connotation of time and order, derived from the Latin wordordo). During other liturgical time periods, specific aspects of the mystery of Christ are celebrated. The days of Ordinary Time, especially the Sundays, "are devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects."
Click the liturgical calendar image above for more information on Ordinary Time.
The work of Christmas begins
Howard Thurman (1899 – April 10, 1981)
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.
Howard Thurman was an influential American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader. He was Dean of Chapel at Howard University and Boston University for more than two decades, wrote 21 books, and in 1944 helped found a multicultural church. He was a mentor of Martin Luther King.
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
On February 2, the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in the liturgy.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is referred to as the "Purification of Mary." This is known as a "Christmas feast" since it points back to the Solemnity of Christmas. Many Catholics practice the tradition of keeping out the Nativity creche or other Christmas decorations until this feast.
Learn more about this feast at CatholicCulture.org.