Ordinary Time

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  - Jesus, John 15:4-11


what is ordinary time?

Pentecost Sunday is the transition day between the Pascal Cycle and Ordinary Time, which begins the Monday after Pentecost and stretches until Advent.  Lasting nearly 6 months, it is the longest season of the church year.  In it, we walk the faithful and steady path of discipleship.  We journey inward (strengthening our connection to Christ) and journey outward (in love for others) all in the context of our life together as the church.

why is ordinary time important?

"Outside all the major feasts and fasts, outside the two great seasons and cycles of the faith - Advent & Christmas and Lent & Easter - almost two-thirds of every year is spent simply learning the fine art of living the Christian life.  The Liturgical year simply calls it "Ordinary Time" but there is nothing ordinary about Ordinary Time at all.  It makes dailiness, stability, fidelity, and constancy the marks of what it takes for Christians to be "Christian" the rest of the year."    Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year - Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life

Anglicancompass.com's Rookie Guide to Ordinary Time says, "During the Season after Pentecost (Ordinary Time), we focus on the life of the Church as it grows in the midst of the world. The Season after Pentecost is for the Church to live out her vocation in the midst of the world, recalling that every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Ordinary” Time might well refer to living out our “ordinary” lives as Christians. But, since we follow the risen Lord of the Universe, there’s nothing “ordinary” about it!"

how can we celebrate Ordinary Time?

Prayer Rhythms

Prayer is essential in our fellowship with Christ, so use Ordinary Time to begin (or renew) a rhythm of prayer in your life.  The Anglican Book of Common Prayer is our guidebook for personal and corporate prayer.  In it are many liturgies and prayers to guide your devotion.  It can be downloaded for free, you can purchase a book, or use the BCP app. More suggestions on our Resource Page.

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Journey with Community

Begin a relationship with an older, more experienced follower of Christ and allow God to sharpen and shape you through them.

Initiate connection with a younger disciple and offer your prayers, encouragement, and wisdom.

Meet with a group of friends for study, prayer, confession and encouragement.

Engage a child in their play, give respite to a young mother, or get to know a person who lives alone.

Meet with a spiritual director to help you hear the voice of God more clearly.

Neighborhood Hospitality - This may be as simple as inviting some over for a shared meal, carpooling to events, planting a mutual garden space, offering childcare, hosting a music/sing night, or having a bonfire together in the backyard. Be creative and sensitive to the unique personalities and needs of your neighbors.

Join a non-profit or community group to bring the light of Christ to your city.

Explore how God might want to use you in your vocation or work circle.

Practice Sabbath

Begin (again?) your intention to receive the gift of Sabbath!  We have a kind and loving God that wants us to live free, to delight, and to rest.  Set aside a day to stop your work, turn off the distractions and make space for joy and worship. Eat special food, spend time with people you love or do something you enjoy, get ice cream, practice being playful! Bridgetown Church has a robust collection of resources on Sabbath.  Check it out!

celebrate a saint

During Ordinary time we celebrate Holy Days!  The Apostles, Mary of Magdalene, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, and the Transfiguration of our Lord and many more.  You can find these dates in the Calendar section of the BCP.  Make time to read the passages for the day (from the Daily Office Lectionary, also near the back of the BCP) which tell these saint's stories, and ask God what you can learn from them.

Read and pray through the biographies or writing of Ignatius, Augustine, Teresa of Avila, Benedict, Catherine of Siena, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, St. Frances & St. Claire of Assisi, or other father and mother of faith.  All Saints Day (November 1) is the perfect time to celebrate all who have influenced us personally and the church globally.