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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

"Ordinary" Time.

Page 4 of a Guide to the Christian Year

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"Ordinary" Time.



"Ordinary" time is the name given to periods in the year which are not part of one of the "seasons".

There are two periods of Ordinary Time each year, the first from the end of the Epiphany Season to the start of Lent, and the second from the end of the Easter Season (i.e. Pentecost) to the start of Advent. The first period, between Epiphany and Lent, may be quite short. In 2008, when Easter is very early, it will be less than a week. In other years it can be over a month long. The second period, from Pentecost to Advent, is much longer - around 6 months, or nearly seven if Easter Sunday is early.

Although Ordinary Time is not a "season" it does contain a number of "special days", such as Trinity Sunday, the day we remember that God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Trinity Sunday is always the Sunday next after Pentecost. In the Church of England the Sundays in the second, longer, period of Ordinary Time following Trinity Sunday are then known as "Sundays after Trinity" - 1st Sunday after Trinity, 2nd Sunday after Trinity, etc.

Some churches count these Sundays from Pentecost rather than Trinity Sunday. Trinity Sunday is therefore the 1st Sunday after Pentecost and the numbering continues after that and is of course one Sunday out from the counting from Trinity Sunday in the Church of England! Seasons of the Spirit uses this method and at Immanuel we often therefore refer to the "Sundays after Pentecost" instead of the Sundays after Trinity. So you may come across both methods - don't be confused!

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"The Kingdom Season" is the name sometimes given to the period from All Saints' Day (1st November) until the start of Advent.

From All Saints' Day we start to look forward to the new Church Year and the coming Season of Advent; the Sundays are numbered as 3rd, 2nd, etc. Sunday before Advent rather than a Sunday after Trinity. The Sunday next before Advent is known as the Festival of Christ the King - when we think about the Kingship of Jesus.

All Saints' Day is a day to give thanks for those who have led saintly lives, not just those who have been recognised with their own "day". It is also a reminder that, in the New Testament, all faithful Christians are in fact called "saints" (see, eg Romans 1:7). Sainthood is not so much a matter of merit as of faithfulness. The following day, November 2nd, is All Souls' Day, when we are invited to remember the faithful departed; it is an opportunity to recall friends and family who have died. At Immanuel, in common with many other churches, we sometimes hold a service of remembrance for those who have been bereaved recently or who wish particularly to remember loved ones they have lost.

Read on to next page - Saints' Days and Holy Days (p5)



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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 17 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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