(Hat Tip to St. Patrick’s Anglican, Las Cruces, New Mexico)
The Church has her own special liturgical year and calendar in which she presents again the history and unchanging mysteries of our salvation, from Creation to the Second Coming, together with the entire life of the Savior. We look back to the saving events of the Old Testament, we remember the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, and we look to the consummation of all things in Him, Jesus Christ.
The beginning of the church year is four Sundays before Christmas Day. It is the season of preparation for Christmas. It is a time of joyful expectation as we celebrate the preparation of Christ’s first coming and look ahead to His second coming. The church usually uses violet to designate this season.
Marked by white liturgical hangings, Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth. There are two Sundays in Christmas season.
The word ‘Epiphany’ is Greek and it means ‘revealing.’ This is the season in which we celebrate God’s revelation of Himself to all people, everywhere. It is the season where we remember the young Jesus presented to the temple (Luke 2:21-38). It’s also the season where Christians affirm that God really does love the whole world. The liturgical color is green.
Lent is a penitential season and begins on Ash Wednesday. It is the time before Easter or Resurrection. It is during this season before Easter that Christians focus on humanity’s sin which necessitated Christ’s death as an atonement for us. It is a time in which we press in closer to Christ and begin to examine ourselves in light of His righteousness. The Church usually uses the color violet to symbolize this season.
Easter, or Resurrection, season is intimately tied to the Jewish Passover. It was at Passover when Jesus offered Himself up for us as a sacrifice and atonement for our sins, the true Lamb of God. Resurrection Day celebrates the rising to life again of Christ after three days in the tomb. We use white to designate the season of Easter.
Trinity season is the longest season of the Anglican liturgical cycle. It lasts from the week after Pentecost to Advent. It is during this season that we study the life of Christ as He completely obeyed the commands of the Father, as He taught His disciples, and as He ministered to the people around Him. Green is again the color used in Trinity.