Ordinary Time in the Catholic Church
Ordinary Time is one of the most confusing seasons in the Catholic Church's liturgical year. Hopefully the information here will help a little!
Ordinary Time encompasses two different periods in the Catholic Church's liturgical year. It begins on the Monday after the first Sunday after January 6 (the feast of the Epiphany) and runs until Ash Wednesday. The season of both Lent and Easter fall outside of Ordinary Time, which resumes again on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday and runs until the First Sunday in Advent (which is the start of the new liturgical year).
It is important to remember Ordinary comes from the word ordinal and means counted or ordered. It does not mean ordinary as some people might think. In other words, each of the weeks has a number (for example, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time). Ordinary time is filled with feasts and memorials of the Lord and the saints such as All Saints Day and All Souls Day; Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and Christ the King.
Green is the color of Ordinary Time and will be used in decorating the church, and in the vestments worn by the priests. It reminds us of the growing things of creation and that we should always be finding ways to grow in our faith.
The Sundays of Ordinary Time are an education in our faith. The readings lead us along the path of salvation history and makes us part of the crowds who follow Jesus. We go along with Him from the stable in Bethlehem to Jerusalem where so much of his ministry took place. Our calendar is taken up with the events in the life of Jesus instead of the events of our own lives and, as we walk with the Lord, the scriptures come alive to us.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Liturgical Calendar.