Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ordinary Time

Because Ordinary Time refers to the period of the Catholic Church's liturgical year that fall outside of the major seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter), and because of the connotations of the term "ordinary" in English, many people think Ordinary Time refers to the parts of the Church year that are unimportant. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Ordinary Time is called "ordinary" because the weeks are numbered. The Latin word ordinalis, which refers to numbers in a series, stems from the Latin word ordo, from which we get the English word order. Thus, Ordinary Time is in fact the ordered life of the Church—the period in which we live our lives neither in feasting (as in the Christmas and Easter seasons) or in more severe penance (as in Advent and Lent), but in watchfulness and expectation of the Second Coming of Christ.

Advent went by me too fast.  Catholics love Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter but we love Ordinary Time, too.  The liturgy, or public worship, of all Christian churches is governed by a yearly calendar that commemorates the main events in salvation history. In the Catholic Church, this cycle of public celebrations, prayers, and readings is divided into six seasons, each emphasizing a portion of the life of Jesus Christ.

These six seasons are described in the "General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar," published by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship in 1969 (after the revision of the liturgical calendar at the time of the promulgation of the Mass of Paul VI). As the General Norms note, "By means of the yearly cycle the Church celebrates the whole mystery of Christ, from his incarnation until the day of Pentecost and the expectation of his coming again."

I am happy it is Ordinary Time again but I like every day of the Catholic Calendar.  Ash Wednesday comes early this year, February 18.  I have enjoyed receiving my ashes since 2010.

Today's readings are excellent but I enjoy them all.  We try to read them ahead of time so they mean more when they are read.

I wish you all a Blessed Sunday, the first Sunday of Ordinary Time, The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Ed Winkle


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