Seasons of the Church Year

The church year is made up of six seasons: Advent, Christmas, Sundays After Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and the Sundays after Pentecost; and several Festival Days: Christmas, the Name of Jesus, Epiphany, The Baptism of Our Lord, Easter, The Ascension of Our Lord, The Feast of Pentecost, The Holy Trinity, All Saints’ Day, and Christ the King or Reign of Christ.

The church year begins with Advent, a season of preparation, with its dual focus on Jesus’ Second Coming and getting ready for the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem on Christmas Day. Advent is a time of joyful anticipation of the Son of God coming to earth to live as a person among us and His return at the end of time. The colour of Advent is blue.

Christmas is a short season, beginning with Christmas Day, December 25, and continuing through the Name of Jesus until Epiphany. Christmas is a season of thankfulness for the goodness of God. The colour of Christmas is white or gold.

Epiphany begins on January 6, the day the Wise Men came to Bethlehem to worship the Baby Jesus, and the colour is white. The Sundays after Epiphany is a season of worship, as the whole world follows the Wise Men to find and honor Jesus. The colour of the Sundays after Epiphany is green.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and is a season of self-examination and quiet contemplation. It was traditionally a time of final preparation for baptism at Easter and remains a time of self-reflection in preparation for renewing our baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil. The colour of Lent is purple. The last week of Lent is Holy Week and begins with Palm Sunday as we follow Jesus from his entry into Jerusalem to the cross on Good Friday. The colour of Holy Week is red.

The Season of Easter begins with the Easter Vigil at sunset on the evening before Easter Sunday. It is a glorious celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. It is a season of praise, as Christians glorify the risen Christ. The color of Easter is white or gold.

The Season of Pentecost begins with the Feast of the Pentecost, fifty days after Easter. The colour of Pentecost is Red. The Sundays After Pentecost are called also called Ordinary Time. It is a time closely associated with spiritual growth so the colour for the Sundays after Pentecost is green.

www.sundayschoollessons.com    adapted by The Rev. Dana Dickson 2018.11.28