Monday, January 07, 2013

Ordinal Time

Should we really call it "Ordinary Time?"  This coming Sunday will mark the "First Sunday After Epiphany" according to the Traditional (Extraordinary) lectionary, but most will call it "The First Sunday in Ordinary Time."  I ask, what is so "ordinary" about this time?  Why do we call this "Ordinary Time?"

Well, first off the title of "Ordinary Time" is misleading, as it comes from "Ordinal Time" - which means "counting time."  The main point I'd like to bring out is that in "counting" we're constantly reminded of the weeks after a given holy day, in this case it is Epiphany (later in the year it is Pentecost).  Let us continue to remember the holy day and that it is the "Season after Epiphany."  This is not an "ordinary" season in the way most English speaking people understand the terminology of "ordinary."  Yes, both come from the same root word, but "ordinal" implies the true nature of the season as counting days after a given holy day.  For the next several weeks I urge you to continue to remember the coming of the Three Wise Men from the East - and why they sought out our Lord and Savior over the birth of anyone else born in a royal heritage.  There are so many reasons for us to remember this day of their arrival, the homage they paid and the fact that they were given a sign in a vision to leave by another route, and not go back to King Herod.  As Bp. Sheen once said, "all who visit our Lord leave differently."

This is also an opportune time to remind everyone that in certain traditions Christmas itself is not "over" yet, and lasts until Candlemas in which it is the last time that the Nativity of Our Lord is mentioned in the readings of the Mass.  Candlemas falls on February 2nd.

1 comment:

  1. I was also a bit remiss in failing to mention it was the Feast Day of the Holy Family last Sunday!  

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