Sunday, 26 November 2017

An end to ordinary time

 The Ophelia tree-gauge is now well and truly bare. I see her every day through the kitchen window, and she makes me think. I was watching her today as I listened to the devotional app I use quite often. Today, as I'm sure all of you already knew, was the Feast of Christ the King. Now this immediately made me smile, as we loved and adored, and loved and adored in, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King when we were in Liverpool at half-term. So, I decided I needed to know about Christ the King, because we Presbyterians from the frozen North are not entirely renowned for our mutual understanding, and there it was.

The Feast of Christ the King- and I am going with the very rudimentary research I did this afternoon, based on the broadest interpretation I could find- marks the end of Ordinary Time. Now, my app usually talks about such and such a week of ordinary Time, but to be honest I have been hitherto just far too lazy to look it up. When I did today, I was entranced. The first period of Ordinary Time begins just after Epiphany and lasts until the start of Lent. The church then celebrates the whole of the Easter season- right up until Pentecost, when it enters the second period of Ordinary Time, which ends- well, today was the last Sunday of Ordinary Time because next week we will begin our Advent journey.

How wonderful! We live the seasons of ordinary time between Christmas and Easter. Then we live Christ's birth, the Spirit's arriving, Christ's death and His glorious resurrection. We live them every day. I know this. I live this. But today, in this strange last week before It All Begins, I found it profoundly God-full to mark the last Sunday of my year's Ordinary Time. To give thanks for all that I could think of, and to acknowledge that my year is dying as quietly and as darkly as the days. To allow the advent of Advent to stir my soul.

Jo and I studded some past their best clementines with the rest of the jar of cloves. They are hiding at the back of the hotpress now, waiting quietly and darkly to share the perfume of their thoughts when the time is right. I am very excited!


Lisa Richards said...

Thanks for your explanation. I'm still a might befuddled by all this, but I do find it interesting to learn about. I think I too am a bit lazy about it. I think I miss out on a lot because of that. I hope everyone will continue to educate me in the ways of the liturgical church. :)

M.K. said...

What a lovely and thought-provoking post! I do feel, throughout the year, the alternation of what you call ordinary time, and those extraordinary times. It seems to my spirit that both are necessary, like spiritual breathing -- in with the excitement and celebration of feasts and events, and then out with the rest and thoughtfulness of the ordinary days. Thanks, Mags! Love those pomander balls!

Fat Dormouse said...

Thank you SO much for the link to Pray As You Go - I started using it on Friday and listening as I'm driving to work/church. It has been enormously helpful. I hope I can keep it up. It's a great thing.