Our Church Year
Current Liturgical Season -- Ordinary Time
Worship provides the center for our community of faith. Each of our services offers an opportunity to gather together for fellowship, share joys and concerns, hear the Word proclaimed, celebrate the Eucharist (Communion), experience the unity of our faith, and feel God's presence.
The people of God who are the Church of the Holy Apostles gather together to raise our voices in worship each Sunday morning:
At 8:00 a.m. (Holy Eucharist -- Said Service, no Music)
At 10:30 a.m. (Holy Eucharist -- Hymns and Service Music
From the Day of Pentecost to the First Sunday of Advent, we are in the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. While the liturgical color for the Feast of Pentecost itself is red, the color for the long period after Pentecost is green. This season is referred to as 'Ordinary Time' because there are no major liturgical observances during this time; therefore the Sundays between Pentecost and Advent are identified by ‘ordinal’ numbers – 1st Sunday after Pentecost, 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, etc.
'Pentecost' simply means 'the fiftieth day.' The second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles tells us that "When the day of Pentecost had come, they (the remaining eleven apostles -- minus Judas at this point -- and the apostle Matthias, who was chosen by lot to replace Judas) were all together in one place" when the Holy Spirit came upon them. In keeping with their Jewish tradition, this means that the apostles were gathered for Shavu'ot, the Festival of Weeks, the second of the three major Jewish festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Passover and Sukkot). Agriculturally, Shavu'ot commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, and is known as Hag ha-Bikkurim (the Festival of the First Fruits). Historically, it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
As Christians, we celebrate Pentecost as the 50th (and final) day of Eastertide, on the 7th Sunday after Easter Day. On Pentecost the church received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Helper, as promised by Christ prior to his Ascension. As the 'birthday of the church,' Pentecost is one of the 7 principal Feasts of the Christian calendar. In our Episcopal tradition, it is one of the 5 days considered especially appropriate for baptism (the other 4 being the Easter Vigil, All Saints' Day, the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and the day of a Bishop's Episcopal visitation to a particular congregation). The Feast of Pentecost emphasizes that the church is understood to be the body of Christ which is drawn together and given life by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ordinary time can also be understood in terms of the living out of Christian faith and the meaning of Christ's resurrection in ordinary life.