THE CHRISTIAN YEAR
By God’s design, we experience life as a series of seasons — fall, winter, spring, and summer. The seasons are cyclical and repetitive, yet we experience the cycle as constant variation. This is also true of the Christian Year, or the liturgical calendar, which is designed to form and shape the Church in accordance with the life of Christ. The Christian Year is a powerful and time-tested tool for discipleship.
We hope this page will serve as a guide and resource as you seek to inhabit the Christian Year. Please scroll down to learn more!
Why observe the Christian Year?
The Gestation of Hope
Inhabiting the Season
In the liturgy: During Advent, Lord's Day worship takes on a distinctive character. The color associated with Advent is purple, which symbolizes preparation, penitence, and royalty (we are preparing to welcome our King). In addition, our songs will express the same preparatory and anticipatory themes. The music will likely feel a bit darker, sometimes even ending on a minor chord (e.g., O Come, O Come, Emmanuel). Click here to access our Advent Spotify playlist. Lastly, each Sunday during Advent, we light candles to symbolizes the light of God coming into the world through Christ. The Advent wreath consists of four candles encircling one larger candle, known as the Christ Candle, which we light on Christmas Eve.
In the home: During Advent, many households will keep an Advent calendar, which counts down the days to Christmas. Some also light their own Advent wreath/candles. Advent is a season for simplifying and creating space in our lives to consciously prepare and wait on the Lord, but this can be very difficult during the holiday season. So it may be worthwhile to practice a "calendar fast," abstaining from certain engagements in order to create more space for worship.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.