Just as the world and our lives have seasons, so does the church. The church year begins with Advent as we look toward Christmas. Then we focus on the light of that bright star in Epiphany before going into the Lenten season. After Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday, we finally arrive at Easter and the empty tomb. After a season of paschal celebration, we feel the fire of the spirit in Pentecost and continue the summer with what we call “Ordinary Time” and catch all of the amazing stories of Christ’s ministry.
The first Sunday in Advent, (either the last Sunday in November or first Sunday in December) begins the new church year — a time of preparation, a time of waiting for the Christ Child.
The liturgical color for Advent is blue, the color of hope, and hope is the primary theme of Advent.You will see the change of colors on the altar and in the chancel hangings and banners.
To allow Advent to have its fullest impact, we defer Christmas music and decorations so that the symbols and themes of Advent are not obscured by Christmas preparations.
The season of Christmas is the 12-day celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus. The season begins on Christmas Day and until the day of Epiphany. The liturgical color of the season is white.
Epiphany is the time the church is to “make Christ known”. The Gospel stories during this season center on the early ministry of Jesus. The season of Epiphany begins January 6 and may be as long as eight weeks or as few as three. The liturgical color is green.
The fourth season of the church year is Lent. Lent is a penitential season that begins on Ash Wednesday with a worship that features confession and the imposition of ashes. At the beginning of the Lenten journey we are reminded that we all are dust, and to dust we shall return.
The word Lent originally meant “spring” and is to be understood as a time to reflect on Baptism and its basis in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel emphasis is on the cross and discipleship. The liturgical color for this six-week season is purple. There is an austerity in this season that is absent in other seasons.
The season of Easter begins with the Easter Vigil on Easter Eve. The celebration on Easter Sunday is a festive day remembering that Jesus has been raised and is alive! Easter is often understood as the crown of the whole year, and as such it lasts not for a day or a week, but for seven weeks. The Sundays of this season are called the Sundays of Easter—50 days of rejoicing. The liturgical color is white.
The Day of Pentecost, sometimes called the birthday of the church, is the culmination of the Easter celebration and the long season which follows this day is called the season after Pentecost. The liturgical color for the Day of Pentecost is red. The Sundays after Pentecost are the season of growth; the liturgical color is green. The season ends in November and the last Sunday of the church year is observed as the festival of Christ the King.
This site is owned and operated by Bethel Lutheran Church. Your privacy on the Internet is of the utmost importance to us. At Bethel Lutheran Church, we want to make your experience online satisfying and safe.
Because we gather certain types of information about our users, we feel you should fully understand the terms and conditions surrounding the capture and use of that information. This privacy statement discloses what information we gather and how we use it.