Seasons of the Church Year
In the Anglican tradition, and here at St. Paul’s, the year is divided into seasons that tell the story of our faith. The calendar is built around the various feasts and celebrations of our Christian faith.
- Advent: the beginning of the church year; from late November until Christmas, a time of anticipation and waiting as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
- Christmas: December 24 & 25, and often the Sunday following, we celebrate that Jesus was born.
- Epiphany: from January 6 until February or March, we remember the many ways we see and recognize God revealed to us through Jesus Christ. We remember the Magi’s journey to Bethlehem, Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, and other times when he was revealed as the Son of God, such as the miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana.
- Lent: depending on the year, these 40 days go from late February until April. We observe a penitential time to remember how much we depend on God’s forgiveness as we seek forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation in our relationships with God. This solemn and holy time begins on Ash Wednesday and goes until Holy Week.
- Holy Week: the week beginning with Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, remembering the last supper Jesus had with his disciples in the upper room, and the journey Jesus made through the cross of Good Friday to the empty tomb of Easter. We enter into the story of Jesus’ passion, suffering and death and ultimately the glory of His resurrection.
- Easter: 50 days when we celebrate what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means for us and our faith.
- Pentecost: the feast day when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit to the first disciples and the beginning of the early church. As this season goes from May until mid-November, this is the longest season of the church year. We call it “ordinary time,” in which we grow and nurture our faith and our relationships with God.
Throughout the year, we observe other significant days, such as the Ascension, saints’ days, the Transfiguration, Holy Cross Day, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day and the Reign of Christ. We also include an act of remembrance for Remembrance Day.
The liturgical year helps us to remember the story of our faith through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.