Ordinary Time

A continuing series on celebrating the church year.

Ordinary Time is the rest of the church year, from Trinity Sunday just after Pentecost to Christ the King Sunday, which precedes the first Sunday in Advent. It gets it’s name from the word “ordinal” and refers to the counting of weeks, not the commonness of the season. I love how the Circle of the Church Year Godly Play materials refer to this long stretch of liturgical green as growing time. After we have been immersed in the seasons of Advent, Epiphany, Lent and Easter, each with a distinct focus, we have this large chunk of time that is not focused. This is a time when individuals, families and churches can discern where they need to grow and devote themselves to that.

If you take some time to prayerfully consider how you ought to use ordinary time in your family life, I’d encourage you to include your children as much as appropriate. Some brainstorming questions might include, “In what ways can we grow to be more like Jesus?” “What fruit of the Spirit seems to come to you least naturally?” “Are there any habits (spiritual disciplines) of Christians you’d like to learn more about and practice?” “What parts of the Bible do you feel least familiar with?” Obviously, as a parent one has some insight into this and you can use the time to focus on what you find important.

In the rhythm of the church year, ordinary time is a rest. Because of the length of time, you can be leisurely and not as intense with any goals you set. Also feel encouraged to take a break and reevaluate some of the spiritual habits of your family. If you are participating in a church summer activity (like scripture or catechism memorization) that may fall later in the season.

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