Volume 30 Issue 17 - 9 November 2018

What is Ordinary Time?

At this time in the Catholic liturgical calendar we are coming to the end of what is termed Ordinary Time.  But, what is Ordinary Time?

Iisa Neicinieks rsm tells us that the name ordinary in this context comes from the word ‘ordinal’ as in ordinal numbers – first, second, third etc. Each Sunday of Ordinary Time is therefore numbered in order and the season is split into two segments. The first starts after the feast of the Baptism of Jesus and goes to Ash Wednesday; the second segment stretches from after Pentecost Sunday to the First Sunday of Advent.  Against the backdrop of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection - the major pillars of Catholic faith, Ordinary Time gives the Church the opportunity to reflect more deeply on the life of Jesus and what it means to follow him.  Ordinary Time is also the main season for honouring Mary and the company of saints whose lives have been beacons of inspiration and hope to countless Christians. (http://www.adelaide.catholic.org.au/__files/f/18907/August%20-%20ORDINARY%20TIME.pdf)

The liturgical colour for Ordinary Time is green, which symbolises the growth of faith enriched by the learning about and understanding of the life of Christ.  Ordinary Time is, therefore, very much about the conversion of heart in an individual central to the Benedictine Value of conversation.  As they listen to the Gospel, the faithful are encouraged to engage in practices that over a lifetime bring about conversion into the likeness of Christ.  In the words of St Benedict, to let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, [so] he brings all together to everlasting life. R. B. 72.