In a recent post, I made comments about this time of year being the beginning of a new year, and in my last post I mentioned that our family marks the liturgical year. As part of the classical Christian tradition, our (meaning my family's) education is knotted to the traditional church and church year. What that means is everyday we begin the day with God during Morning Prayer and (most evenings) end the workday with Evening Prayer. We attend worship every Sunday. Instead of national holidays (some we observe, most we do not) our days off from school are the major feast days throughout the year. Many years ago I decided to be truly counter-cultural and follow the church year rather than the secular year. With some major, but mostly minor tweaks, we've fallen into a rhythm of life that synthesizes with the church. It's beautiful and so much less stressful!
There are resources out there that are far more descriptive of the church calendar and the history behind it all than I will be here. But to give you an idea how we mark the year, here is what the church year looks like:
*Advent: typically the begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving; some years it may be the following Sunday
*Christmas - December 25 and twelve days following
*Epiphany - January 6 and weeks leading up to
*Lent - begins Ash Wednesday and lasts 40 days
*Holy Week - the week before Easter
*Easter Season - begins Easter Sunday, and yes, Easter is a season (50 days) not just a single day
*Ascension - the Thursday 40 days after Easter
*Pentecost - celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit
*Trinity Sunday - Sunday after Pentecost
*Ordinary Time - begins the Sunday after Trinity; continues until the Sunday before Advent
*All Saints' Day - November 1
*Christ the King Sunday - last Sunday of the church year
This calendar sets the pattern and rhythm of our life. As mentioned above, sprinkled throughout the year are the major feast days that we observe and celebrate. In a future post, I'll explain how I use the church year in scheduling our schooling.