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Ordinary Time

What Is Ordinary Time?

Ordinary Time encompasses that part of the year that does not fall within the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter.  The Catholic Church celebrates two periods of Ordinary Time.   The first period, Ordinary Time I, begins after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and ends the Tuesday evening before Ash Wednesday.   Ordinary Time II runs from the Monday after Pentecost until Evening Prayer is said the night before Advent begins.  Ordinary Time gets its name from the word ordinal, meaning “numbered,” since the weeks of Ordinary Time are expressed numerically.  Depending up on the year, there are either 33 or 34 weeks of Ordinary Time.

Ordinary time does not mean “plain,” and is not meant to imply that we somehow get a break from the practicing our faith.   Ordinary Time celebrates the mystery of Christ in all its aspects.   Many important liturgical celebrations occur during Ordinary Time including the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the Solemnity of the Assumption, the Solemnity of All Saints and the Solemnity of Christ the King.    Ordinary Time invites us to contemplate the parts of Jesus’ life that were ordinary, much like our own lives, and inspires us to see the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the most ordinary events and everyday activities of our lives.  When we are able to see God in the most mundane aspects of our lives we realize that nothing is in fact ordinary!  The liturgical color for Ordinary Time is green; symbolizing hope and growth. 

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