Sunday, November 26, 2006


Shaping the pattern of our lives around the Christian calendar

Today is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. It's a day named Christ the King Sunday on the liturgical Christian calendar. It's the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent. Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year--four weeks before Christmas. Confused? Interested?

CHRISTMAS, EASTER, PENTECOST. The Christian calendar marks a year of weeks around three major Biblical faith events that give shape, context, and learning opportunities to the Christian community. Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are the primary focal points. Advent is preparation for Christmas. Lent leads to Holy Week and Easter. Pentecost, marking the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the church, launches the third chapter in the church year. Following Pentecost, the weeks until Advent (which begins four Sundays before Christmas Day) are called "Ordinary Time."

A GOOD LITURGICAL RESOURCE. I use Dennis Bratcher's online resource--"The Voice"--of the Christian Resource Institute to help me walk and live through the Christian liturgical calendar. CRI is reliable, insightful, and kept current. It's user friendly for folks who are not steeped in a liturgical tradition--like me. It's worth spending some time exploring as the Season of Advent approaches, beginning on Sunday, December 3. You can find daily Scripture readings as well as good information on the meanings of Advent and each season of the year. Do not confuse the Christian Resource Institute with the Chrisitan Research Institute (which I do not recommend).

Liturgy means "service." It is not about formulas or formalism. It's about exploring and expressing the depth and exuberance of the Christian faith.

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