Monday, January 11, 2010

Primer: Ordinary Time

In order to keep this blog focused on things relating to the faith, I'm going to start a series of primers on the seasons of the liturgical year.  I'll start with Ordinary Time and end with Advent and Christmastide.  I'll keep these primers simple, with a Q&A format.

Alright then, let's go.  =)

Q:  What is Ordinary Time?
A:  Ordinary Time (also called Tempus per annum, or "Time throught the year") is a season of the Christian (especially Catholic) liturgical year for the time period that does not fall during one of the "Great Seasons" (Advent, Christmastide, Lent, Easter)

Q:  Why is it called "Ordinary Time"?
A:  It is called Ordinary Time because it does not fall during Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter.  It doesn't mean we get a break from the liturgical year; rather, we emphasize "the mystery of Christ in all its aspects".

Q:  What does Ordinary Time symbolize or celebrate?
A:  Ordinary Time celebrates/symbolizes the Holy Trinity.  The readings at Mass for Ordinary Time also focus on Christ's earthly ministry.

Q:  When is Ordinary Time and how long is it?
Ordinary Time is actually divided up into two periods; the first period begins after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 6) and ends on Ash Wednesday, which also marks the beginning of Lent.  The second period begins after Pentecost and continues until the first Sunday of Advent.  In total, Ordinary Time lasts 33 to 34 weeks.

Q:  Are there any feasts associated with Ordinary Time?
A:  There are several Sundays during Ordinary Time that have feast days attached to them.  These include; Trinity Sunday (May 30 in 2010), Corpus Christi (Thursday after Trinity Sunday), All Saints Day (November 1), the Assumption of Mary (August 15) and Christ the King (November 21st in 2010)

Q:  What are the liturgical colors associated with Ordinary Time?
A:   The most common liturgical color associated with Ordinary Time is green, but different colors are used on feast days, the main one being white.

Q:  Are there any prayers/devotions associated with Ordinary Time?
A:  There are numerous prayers of various themes associated with Ordinary Time; the best ones are assigned to the various feast days, including; The Litany to the Most Holy Trinity (Trinity Sunday) , The Litany of the Saints (All Saints Day), and the Domine Iesu Christe, Rex gloriae and Domine Deus Omnipotens Rex Regum for Christ the King.

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