‘Tis The Season: Ordinary Time

Image of a stained glass window teminating in a Gothin arch.

The 50 days of Easter 2023 are past, having concluded with Pentecost. May 29 began Ordinary Time, which will extend until the first Sunday of Advent. Ordinary Time isn’t just a way to count the passing of time. It is the longest liturgical season, occupying about 34 weeks of the year. It falls into two parts, being interrupted by Easter, Christmas, and their respective preparatory seasons, Lent and Advent.

Colors of the Seasons

On Pentecost Sunday you may have noticed the altar and pulpit were draped in red. In the United Methodist Church, Pentecost is the only Sunday when red is used as the liturgical color. The color has a number of symbolic meanings, but on Pentecost red stands for the flame of the Holy Spirit that inspired the Apostles, and the passion it inflamed in them. After Trinity Sunday, June 4, when a white altar cloth and paraments (cloths on the pulpit) were used, we reverted to green, the color of Ordinary Time that signifies the continuing growth of the Christian spirit.