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Seasons of the Church Year

During the year, we take a deeper look at different understandings of God and his son Jesus Christ that we learn in scripture. The information below tells of human traditions that have built up over the centuries. They are helpful ways of marking time and focusing church attention on different aspects of the Christian story. The practice of keeping the church year dates back to fifth century Jerusalem. Here are the seasons with a brief word about each:

From the Latin word Adventus, meaning "coming," Advent is the first season of the church year. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and is set aside as a season to prepare for Christmas, Christ's first coming, and to remember that he will come again. The color for this season is purple or lavender.

This is the eleven days from Christmas Day until January 6, the the start of Epiphany. It is a time for remembering Jesus' birth and the idea of the Incarnation—God becoming human. The color for the season is white, often trimmed in gold.

From January 6 until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent, is the season of Epiphany, which means "revealing" or "showing forth." Epiphany is the season for remembering that Jesus came to be the savior of the whole world. The color of the season is green.

This is the season of preparation for Easter, which starts on Ash Wednesday and goes 40 weekdays and six Sundays to Easter. Lent is a time for self-examination. Many people take on additional study in Lent, while others deny themselves of something as an ongoing reminder of the season. That practice can be helpful, but Lent is not a time for punishment, just reflection. The seasonal color is purple or lavender, though unbleached cloth is sometimes used as well.

This is the oldest and greatest day of celebration in the Christian Church. Easter is the day and season for remembering that Jesus not only died, but that he was raised from the dead. The color is white, trimmed in gold. The season of Easter lasts 50 days from Easter Day to the Day of Pentecost.

The day of Pentecost celebrates the birth of the Christian Church as it is the day when the disciples felt the Holy Spirit come upon them and empower them to go out and tell Jesus' story. The season lasts all through the summer until Advent. During this season, which the Roman Catholic Church calls ordinary time, we recount the stories of Jesus' ministry along with readings from the Old Testament and the letters of the early church. The color of the day of Pentecost is red, as red is the color associated with the Holy Spirit. The color for the season of Pentecost is green, appropriate for the season of growth.


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King of Peace Episcopal Church + 6230 Laurel Island Parkway + Kingsland, Georgia 31548-2526