Advent is a Latin term which means “coming”. It is the first season of the church year, beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Advent is a period of preparation for the coming of our Lord at Christmas and at the end of time. Some also celebrate the coming of our Lord through Word and Sacrament. Advent ends at Christmas.
Often, churches use Advent candles. One is lighted each week in anticipation of the coming of the light of the world. Some name the candles: Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepard’s, and Angel’s candles.
The traditional liturgical color for Advent is purple, symbolizing repentance and mourning. Recently, some churches have begun to use the color blue during Advent, symbolizing hope.
The celebration of the birth of our Lord begins on December 25. It continues until January 6. Many churches introduce a Christ candle in the midst of the Advent candles. The liturgical color is white, symbolizing purity.
Epiphany is a Greek term meaning “to show forth”. This season begins on January 6 and commemorates the showing forth of the Infant Jesus to the Wise Men, the first Gentiles to worship Jesus. Depending on the date of Easter, there may be as many as six or as few as one Sunday in the Epiphany season. The liturgical color is green, standing for life and growth.
Lent is a penitential season with special services to commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus. It begins on Ash Wednesday, a movable date, and continues for forty days until Easter. The fifth week of Lent is called Passion Week. The Sixth Week of Lent is called Holy Week. The liturgical color is purple, signifying repentance. The term “lent” probably comes from the Old English term for “spring”.
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday of Holy Week. It commemorates the washing of the disciples’ feet and the institution of the Lord’s Supper.
Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week. It observes the suffering and death of Jesus. The liturgical color is black, signifying mourning and death.
Palm Sunday is the sixth Sunday in Lent, the first day of Holy Week. It commemorates the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem. It often is a mini-celebration in the midst of this penitential season. It’s liturgical color, however is still purple.
Easter is a name from an English pagan spring festival. It commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It’s date is variable, and all other movable feasts are dependent on it. Easter occurs the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, March 21st. The liturgical color for Easter is white.
The Ascension of our Lord is celebrated 40 days after Easter. This celebration falls on a Thursday.
The Easter season lasts seven Sundays and then concludes with the festival of Pentecost on the eighth Sunday.
Pentecost is the Greek word for “fiftieth”. Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter. This Sunday is also known as Whitsunday (traditionally the Sunday when confirmands were robed in white). Pentecost celebrates the birth of the New Testament Church as Peter and the other apostles were anointed with the Holy Spirit and preached in tongues. The liturgical color for this occasion is red, symbolizing love and zeal.
The church year from Advent through Pentecost is called the festival portion of the church year. The rest of the year is known as the non-festival.
Time of the Church
The season after Pentecost. This season has no major festivals. Its first Sunday is called Trinity Sunday. White is used on Trinity Sunday. The rest of the Pentecost season, which can last up to 28 weeks, uses the liturgical color of green.
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool
402 S. Baytree North Platte Ne
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