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Ordinary Time

Ordinary Time is divided into two parts: the weeks between the end of the Christmas season until the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, and the weeks after Pentecost until the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the Feast of Christ the King. This is not a dull, uneventful season that we grin through with Macbeth’s attitude of (substituting “Sunday”):
“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day…” (Act 5, scene V, line 19).
These weeks are ‘ordered,’ not so much to mathematical sequence, but rather to the unfolding of the mystery of the Christ. Each Sunday is “the Lord’s day,” keeping us mindful of his mystery in. much the same way as the early church did before the festal seasons developed.

Timothy Radcliffe comments that:

“It sounds boring, something to be got through before the next exciting thing happens.

But the word ‘ordinary’ here refers to something basic to our humanity. We can only be human because we are ordered, meaning pointed, away from ourselves. We are ordered towards each other, and we are ordered towards God. Ordinary time is when we grow in the ways that we belong to each other and to the Kingdom.”

Timothy Radcliffe, Just One Year: Prayer and Worship through the Christian Year (London: Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd./CAFOD/Christian Aid,2006) p. 79.

The liturgical colour for Ordinary Time is green, the symbol of life and fertility, and after the high points of Christmas and Easter we remember, from Sunday to Sunday, that in the midst of the everyday our lives are being inserted into the life of the Incarnate and Risen One who transforms our ordinary existence with extraordinary and fertile possibilities.

Posted on 31 May 2021

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Trinity Sunday 30 May 2021

The Sunday after Pentecost came to be kept in the West as Trinity Sunday, although it was not prescribed as a universal feast until 1334. In a sense, every feast must be a festival of the Trinity, because the whole Trinity is at work in every moment of creation, redemption and sanctification; but Trinity Sunday provides a particular occasion to reflect on the revelation of God’s self as Trinity, immediately after the Great Fifty Days of Easter.

Posted on 24 May 2021

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Pentecost 23 May 2021

Pentecost (from the Greek pentekoste, ‘fiftieth’ of fifty days of celebration) has its roots in the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which was completed on the fiftieth day after Passover. On the fiftieth day of Easter, God sends his Holy Spirit to empower the Church to perform the mission which the risen Christ has entrusted to it; and he inaugurates the messianic community of perfect communication. Pentecost celebrates both the Holy Spirit and the Christian Church. It was originally the crown and completion of the Easter season; only later, in the medieval West, did it become a new festival season of its own. After the Easter Vigil, the time of Pentecost was a preferred occasion for baptism in early Christian centuries, and the services of Pentecost also reflect this baptismal theme. Christ’s disciples are born again of water and the spirit.

Posted on 6 May 2021