Last week, we explored the flow of the liturgical seasons Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter. In between these seasons are 33 to 34 weeks that make up Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time is not a liturgical season like the others, because it doesn’t have its own distinctive character.
In Ordinary Time, we mark time between the seasons. That’s why it’s called “ordinary,” as in “ordinal,” meaning numbered or ordered. Ordinary Time invites us to go deeper into Christ’s paschal mystery by encountering the extraordinary presence of God in the everyday events of Christian life.Winter Ordinary Time is a good opportunity to reinforce or introduce some of the songs and psalms that you will use during Lent and Easter. Summer Ordinary Time works well for teaching new music. Click To Tweet
Ordinary Time is divided into two periods: one between the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday (often called winter Ordinary Time in the northern hemisphere) and one long stretch in summer between Pentecost and the First Sunday of Advent. Winter Ordinary Time is a good opportunity to reinforce or introduce some of the songs and psalms that you will use during Lent and Easter. Summer Ordinary Time works well for teaching new music.
Solemnities of the Lord, of Mary and the saints, and of your local regions and communities and the feasts of the Lord take precedence over Ordinary Time Sundays. For example, this year, the readings and prayers for the Presentation of the Lord (February 2) are used instead of the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. So don’t get caught off guard next week!
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”