Here is a list of the primary worship days and seasons in the Western Christian worship calendar. Some churches celebrate all of these, others only some. GCI asks its congregations to celebrate (as a minimum) the days/seasons of Advent, Christmas, Holy Week and Easter.
- Advent Season—spanning the four Sundays prior to Christmas. This season focuses on Jesus’ ultimate return and looks forward to the Incarnation.
- Christmas Season—beginning with Christmas Day on December 25 and continuing through January 5. This season focuses on the Incarnation, which includes Jesus’ birth, the worship of the shepherds, and the worship of Simeon and Anna.
- Epiphany Season—beginning with the day of Epiphany on January 6 and continuing to the day before Ash Wednesday—the season includes the Baptism of our Lord (the Sunday after the Epiphany) and Transfiguration Sunday (the Sunday before Ash Wednesday). This season focuses on Jesus being the light of the world, sharing the story of the Magi from the East, and the story of the transfiguration.
- Preparation for Easter—beginning with Ash Wednesday and continuing through Holy Saturday (thus overlapping Holy Week). This season focuses on Jesus’ ministry and his journey to the cross.
- Holy Week
- Passion (Palm) Sunday (Jesus’ triumphant entry and his lament over Jerusalem)
- Maundy Thursday (The last supper with his disciples, the new commandment to love as he loves, and the promise of the Holy Spirit.)
- Good Friday (Jesus’ death and burial)
- Holy Saturday (A day of reflection of Jesus in the tomb and the hope of the resurrection. Often considered a day of recommitment.)
- Easter Season—beginning with Easter Sunday and continuing to Pentecost, including two special celebrations:
- Easter Sunday—celebrating Jesus’ resurrection.
- The Ascension of our Lord—40 days after Easter Sunday (Jesus’ promise to always be with us (Matthew 28), and our inclusion in his ascension.
- Day of Pentecost (Jesus sends the Holy Spirit and begins the New Testament church.)
- Ordinary Time—the period following Pentecost until Advent Season, including three special celebrations: (Walking with Jesus – sharing his love and life with others in mission and ministry.)
- Holy Trinity Sunday—the Sunday following Pentecost (Jesus, as part of the Holy Trinity.)
- All Saints Day—held the weekend after Halloween (We are all included in Jesus’ plan of salvation.)
- Christ the King Sunday—the Sunday before Advent Season begins. (Jesus reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.)
2 thoughts on “Primary Worship Days & Seasons”
Thank you for this summary helps with planning our year
Thank you for creating this very helpful framework.
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