Why Celebrate the Church Year?

I plan to share some ideas for celebrating the church year at home in the coming months, and perhaps the best place to start is with this question. Why should we celebrate the church year at all?

From a theological perspective, the church calendar brings a balance to teaching. Jesus’ life and work, his death and resurrection, are given due time each year. The various seasons and holy days also remind us of different postures and states we have as God’s people. First, the longing of Advent, when we remember the wait for a savior, reminds us of our wait for a new heaven and a new earth. Then we share in the joy of the incarnation, a God who loved us enough to dwell among us, followed by the grace of Epiphany, and how Jesus was made known to the world, a light to all. In the penitence of Lent, we are reminded of our sin and need for a savior. And then we experience the joy of Easter, weeks and weeks to remember the resurrection before the mystery of Pentecost, when we remember the Holy Spirit descended and dwells within us. Sometimes, we can fall into the habit of focusing too much on just one aspect of redemptive history, and the calendar serves as a corrective to that impulse.

As humans, we long for rituals and love traditions. Everybody has them. Shaping family life and memories around the church is a good thing for our children. It’s a way to show them that Christ is important to us. If your church celebrates the church year, it’s another way you can show the way your life intersects with the church. There’s nothing wrong with non-church related traditions! We have plenty of those as well. But marking the year with different ways of celebrating God’s work in the world is a way of reinforcing redemptive history for our children.

There are a lot of traditions for celebrating the church year around the world, and I’d love to hear some you’ve participated in and enjoyed.

Advent at Home
Christmas at Home
Epiphany and Blessing Your Home
Lent at Home
Holy Week and Easter at Home
Ascension and Pentecost at Home
Ordinary Time
Reformation, All Saints & Christ the King at Home

One response to “Why Celebrate the Church Year?

  1. Pingback: Epiphany at Home « This Classical Life

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