Happy New Year?

Happy New Year!! I hope you have all enjoyed celebrating. If I caused you significant confusion, stick with me. I haven’t lost my mind. I know it is December, and Christmas is still yet to come. And I know that the beginning of 2023 comes after that. So you don’t need to call anyone to take me away. The new year I am referring to is the beginning of the liturgical church year. The liturgical calendar is probably unfamiliar to those who grew up in a contemporary evangelical context. I know it was unfamiliar to me. This blog is the beginning of a series on the various seasons of the liturgical calendar. We will look at what each season is, why we celebrate it, and how to engage with it. Today we are going to take a quick look at the overall calendar.

The liturgical calendar begins with Advent. We are in the midst of that season now. After Advent, it moves to Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time. If those seasons are unfamiliar to you, that’s ok. Until recently, they were foreign to me as well. The intent of these seasons is to orient our days around the rhythms and keystones of our faith. They allow us to highlight the vitally important events such as the Incarnation, Christ’s work on the cross, and his ascension. They also provide us with seasons of preparation. The Church has used this calendar for hundreds of years, and many churches continue to use it today (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Presbyterian churches, for example). I hope that as we explore the calendar together, we will better understand Church history and the rhythms of our faith.

As I mentioned, we are currently in the midst of Advent. We provided an Advent calendar with daily readings for everyone this year. We plan to continue offering practical ways to engage in the liturgical seasons as we move forward. The next liturgical season is the 12 Days of Christmas. Traditionally, Advent was followed by 12 days of feasting to celebrate the Incarnation. I don’t know about you, but 12 days of celebration sounds incredible! As we move through this series, we will look at each of the seasons listed in the first paragraph. If you would like more information about any of them, Axis has provided Parent Guides for each season of the liturgical calendar. They are outstanding and will give you a great perspective. If you haven’t signed up for Axis Premium yet, you can do so HERE. You will be given access to all kinds of parenting resources, which are FREE!

Hopefully, you have all had a peaceful Advent season and are anticipating the coming celebration of Christmas. This season can be difficult for many, but the celebration of Christ’s Incarnation brings joy to even the most downcast heart. I am going to leave you with one of my favorite Christmas songs. It is by Andrew Peterson and is a beautiful depiction of Christ’s coming. Enjoy!

Josh Cervone