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Immanuel and St Andrew

The Parish Church of Immanuel and St Andrew, Streatham

452 Streatham High Road · London · SW16 3PY  ·  Tel: (020) 8679 6888

Seasons? What Seasons?

Page 1 of a Guide to the Christian Year

The Seasons of the Christian year - Introduction.

Our Worship and Teaching Programme, "Seasons of the Spirit", is based around the "Seasons" of the Christian Year

Below is a list of the Seasons and some of the main Feasts and other Holy Days associated with them, with brief explanations. Starting with Advent, they form an annual cycle - the "Christian Year" or "Church's Year".

If you click on a "Learn more..." link you will be taken to the page (or section of a page) which gives you more information. Below the list are some notes where you can Learn more... about seasons in general and how to use these pages. You can return to the top of this page and this list by clicking on any ^TOP^ link at the right of this page. ^TOP^ links on the other pages will take you to the top of that page where there is a link back to this one.


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Seasons of the Christian year - some general notes

What are the "Seasons" for?

In Church we speak of "Seasons", such as "The Season of Lent" or "The Season of Epiphany", and we used to do that well before "Seasons of the Spirit" came along. We also have special days, like Ash Wednesday and Trinity Sunday, as well as the more well-known ones like Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

What do these "Seasons" and "special days" mean and why are they important? There is actually nothing about certain days or times of the year which make it essential we treat them in a special way. However, the Church has found it helpful to remember or celebrate certain events and teachings, and the lives of certain people, on a regular pattern through the year.

So it has marked certain days or seasons as "special" for the purpose. It's a way of:

Most of the more important events we remember or celebrate are events in Jesus' life, particularly, of course, his birth, celebrated at Christmas, and his death and resurrection, marked on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The "seasons" are all centred around Christmas or around Good Friday and Easter, and many of the "special days" - Feasts and other Holy Days - are as well.

On the following pages are explanations of each of the Seasons and some of the Feasts and other Holy Days which are associated with them, as they are usually observed at Immanuel and generally in the Church of England. You can just read each page from top to bottom and then go on to the next using the link at the bottom of each page, or use the "Learn more..." links above to find out more about a particular Season, group of Seasons, or Holy Day.



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Variations.

Although all churches follow a similar basic pattern, there are some variations between different denominations and different countries - and even between individual local churches! Some of these are mentioned in the explanations that follow. Where there are references such as "most Churches" it normally means Churches of the Church of England. Note that our Seasons of the Spirit material, which came originally from North America, follows a pattern which is slightly different from the one normally used in the Church of England and followed at Immanuel.

It is important to remember that there is no "right" way to keep the seasons; they are there to help us learn, understand and remember important truth and teaching - they are not the unchanging truth in themselves! Different churches might well want to teach the same truth in slightly different ways.

Read on to nex page - The Seasons around Christmas (p2)



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Author's note. The material above and on the associated pages has been written with the prime purpose of helping members of Immanuel and St Andrew's to understand church teaching and practice. However, the information given is entirely the responsibility of the the author, David Gray, and does not necessarily reflect the view of all members of the Ministry Team or PCC (Parochial Church Council). Corrections and comments are, of course, welcome!

Copyright David Gray 2007


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Page last updated 18 October 2007.

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Copyright David Gray and PCC of Immanuel and St. Andrew Streatham 2007. Photographs copyright David Gray 2002/7 except where otherwise stated.

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Links to related pages...

Introduction - Seasons? What seasons? (p1)

The Seasons around Christmas
Advent, Christmas and Epiphany (p2)

The Seasons around Good Friday and Easter
Lent, Passiontide, Holy Week and Easter (p3)

"Ordinary" Time (p4)

Saints' Days and Holy Days (p5)

Colours for different seasons (p6)


Worship and Teaching Programme
"Seasons of the Spirit"

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