The pattern of times and seasons of the Christian year is shown below. It is a simple overview.This does not include saints' days and minor festivals and you will note that harvest does not appear as this is a secular festival that has been 'adopted' by the church as a time of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth.
You will see that the Christian Year is divided into two halves - from Advent to Pentecost we consider different events in the life of Jesus. During the second half, after Trinity until Advent we have the opportunity to learn more about the meaning of the life and teaching of Jesus and about God's purpose for humanity.
The Christian Year - a simple overview
ADVENT- Begins on the nearest Sunday to December 1. A penitential time of preparation for the birth of our Lord at Christmas and looking ahead to his eventual return.
CHRISTMAS - The Incarnation (birth of Jesus). The Christmas season lasts for 50 days until the feast of Candlemas.
EPIPHANY- January 6 The revealing or showing of Jesus (the story of the Magi).
CANDLEMAS - Presentation of Christ in the temple, 50 days after Christmas. The infant Jesus was presented in the temple by his parents. Simeon and Anna recognised Jesus as the promised Saviour sent by God.
ASH WEDNESDAY- marks the beginning of Lent.
LENT- A penitential time of 40 days in preparation for the events of Holy Week and Easter. Passion Sunday (Sunday before Palm Sunday begins Passiontide) Holy Week beginning on Palm Sunday.
MAUNDY THURSDAY- Last Supper, Washing of feet, the Watch GOOD FRIDAY- The Crucifixion
HOLY SATURDAY-A time of waiting following the burial of Jesus.
EASTER EVE/DAWN-Easter Vigil, The new light of the risen Christ. Renewal of baptism promises.
EASTER DAY- The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The Easter season lasts for 50 days until Pentecost.
ASCENSION DAY- 40 days after Easter. Jesus ascends to Heaven and returns to his Father. He is no longer seen on earth.
PENTICOST- Whit Sunday- the giving of the Holy Spirit fulfilling the promise of Jesus to send us a 'comforter and counsellor'. Celebrated as the Church's birthday.
TRINITY SUNDAY- Sunday following Pentecost Father, Son and Holy Spirit- One God: three persons.
ALL SAINTS - November 1, communion of saints.
ALL SOULS - November 2, commemoration of the faithful departed.
REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY-nearest Sunday to November 11 Remembering the fallen in armed conflicts and acts of terrorism.
CHRIST THE KING - last Sunday of the Christian year. Christ triumphant, ever reigning.
This page is based on the writings of Rev’d Dilys Woodmore, read morehere>.