As followers of Jesus we have a Christian calendar or a “church calendar” that begins with the season of Advent. The Christian calendar is a creative way to tell the story of Jesus, from the anticipation of his birth to the outpouring of his Spirit upon the Church. Nearly half of the calendar is Ordinary Time when we continue to follow Jesus during ordinary days in his neighbourhood.
The birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus gets annual attention during; Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Season After Pentecost.
Sharing faith and respecting our fellow humans brings forward annual events that focus thanks, concerns and family joys. Thanksgiving, Remebrance Day are such times. Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals recognize events but happen throughtout the year so we stay prepared at all times. Homelessness, equality for all or any of the many acknowledged causes require us to augment what they hold faith in. Through the multitude of need our church works to focus on where we believe our faith and efforts can have the greatest impact and so we build in times of extra attention during our annual activities.
Recognizing the birth of our Savior approaching (i.e. Advent means “a coming, approach, arrival.”) brings a restart of Christian focus and a wonder of the coming future God will present as we trust in God’s new set of days coming out of our past days and troubles. Typically this starts on a Sunday around the start of December.
It celebrates Jesus being made into flesh. A twelve day celebration begining Christmas Eve, based the Jewish custom of marking the start of the new day at sundown. The name Christmas is short for “Christ’s Mass” and what we do that evening to begin those celbrations and to give God our thanks.
January 6th marks the non Jewish scholars, called Magi, who were led by a star to worship this newborn. Confirming Jesus has come for all of humanity. It celebrates the baptism, the start of his ministry as he turned water into wine, confirming the purpose of the arrival of Jesus.
Lent is often called the forty days leading to the Resurrection. Shrove Tuesday starts our attention to this period as we share pancakes and join each other for those up coming 40 days. Ash Wednesday then starts Lent, as we find ourselves by reevaluating and refocusing based on the tempations we face, the teachings of Jesus and the love of God.
A remembrance of the last week of the human life of Jesus … of Christ’s suffering. The week includes; Maundy Thursday, in respect of Jesus asking us to love on another as Jesus loved us, and Good Friday.
Resurrection Sunday take our church from the celebration of the resurrection, out of the suffering and death, of Jesus into a period of renewed focus and energy.
The season ends in the Day of the Pentecost. It includes the remebrance of his from his promise for the coming of the Holy Spirit, interactions with disciples and apostles. The Easter Season includes Ascension Day on its 40th day to commemorate Jesus’ return to heaven. The end of this season brings the coming of the Holy Spirit to guide the followers of Jesus.
Season After Pentecost
• Canada Day, Jul 1st
• BC Day, the start of August each year.
• Thanksgiving brings the opportunity to appreciate the bounty of the summer as well as prepare for the upcoming winter.
• All Saints Day, on November 1st or the 1st Sunday of November.