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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time After the Epiphany: Ordinary Time

As much as I love the special "holiday" seasons of the church calendar, there is something restful and reassuring about "Ordinary Time".  We are currently moving through the Season after the Epiphany, which is referred to as "Ordinary Time", not because it is "ordinary", but because it is "ordinal" (we are counting the days as they pass).

Holidays are grand, but it is also nice to pack up the ornaments and put the boxes back up in the rafters. While the High Holy Days inform our walk...our walk is mostly...well, walking.  Day-to-day living is the bulk of our time here, and it can be splendidly peaceful, as well as gruelingly challenging.  Whether we resist it or not, life is mostly "ordinary".  There is something calming about returning to the "work-a-day" world and measuring out our existence in snippets of the commonplace.  I always breathe a bit of a sigh of relief when the hangings and vestments in the Church change to green for Ordinary Time...not because I don't like holidays, but because I enjoy sitting quietly with my Lord when they are over.

The focus in ordinary time is generally on the life and ministry of Jesus.  The weeks of Ordinary Time following the Epiphany might best be focused on discovering Jesus in our own lives (in keeping with the revelation of his Godhood to the nations at Epiphany), and applying the teachings of his life to our daily existence.

An excellent means of drawing close to our Lord in ordinary time is praying the Daily Office.  A convenient way to access the Daily Office is through the Mission of St. Clare (Anglican).  A resource for the Roman Catholic daily office according to the Anglican Use (approved by the Roman Catholic Church) is here. Moving through the Daily Office facilitates both prayer and meditation on scripture.

Another means for meditation upon the life of Christ is through the use of rosary prayer. Beads allow a focal point to keep the mind still during prayer, therefore allowing full focus on our Lord. Use of the Luminous Mysteries is an excellent approach.  They may be prayed using a Catholic rosary, or, for Protestants who seek another option, Anglican prayer beads may be useful.

An Anglican "rosary" contains 33 beads, one for each year in the life of our Savior.  It can be difficult to find a "format" for praying the Anglican rosary, because there is some resistance to suggesting "set" prayers.  However, any set of prayers, including the Luminous Mysteries, can be adapted to their use. Also, there are resources in various locations including here and here. A format for daily meditation on the names of God, by our own beloved Bishop Emeritus John-David Schofield is found here.

 Use of beads is also an excellent avenue for memorization of Scripture.

Whatever your means of drawing closer to our Lord in Ordinary Time, let them be grounded in the Word of God that it may be written on your heart.

Pax Christi,

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  1. I love how you have captured the essence of the changing of the seasons. You have helped me to appreciate the "green" a lot more!

  2. So thankful that His Word is what leads us daily. Thank yo for this.
    Visiting from The Wellspring. Peace.

  3. I so agree with Jen...It has helped me to see the flow of the calendar as all things are set to the time of Christ and His teachings! Just so powerful!

  4. Hi Michelle, you changed the color of your template too, right? Since we're now in the Ordinary Time of the Liturgical Year? It's very calming and serene. I love the colors green and blue.

    I did not know there was a special Anglican rosary for meditating on the mysteries of Christ. I will head on over and check it out.

    1. Yep...went for green for Ordinary time, but it just didn't go with the Epiphany scene, I kind of cheated a little!
      There is an Anglican rosary, but most of the Anglicans that I have spoken with, like me, actually use the traditional Catholic rosary. I do hope that Protestants will consider that rosary prayer is an option for them, can be such a blessing.


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