Guide Ordinary Holy Days

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Ordinary Time is called "ordinary" not because it is common but simply because the weeks of Ordinary Time are numbered.

Holy Week – Sacred Ordinary Days

Thus, the numbered weeks of Ordinary Time, in fact, represent the ordered life of the Church—the period in which we live our lives neither in feasting as in the Christmas and Easter seasons or in more severe penance as in Advent and Lent , but in watchfulness and expectation of the Second Coming of Christ. It's appropriate, therefore, that the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time which is actually the first Sunday celebrated in Ordinary Time always features either John the Baptist's acknowledgment of Christ as the Lamb of God or Christ's first miracle—the transformation of water into wine at the wedding at Cana.

Thus for Catholics, Ordinary Time is the part of the year in which Christ, the Lamb of God, walks among us and transforms our lives. There's nothing "ordinary" about that! Likewise, the normal liturgical color for Ordinary Time—for those days when there is no special feast—is green.


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Green vestments and altar cloths have traditionally been associated with the time after Pentecost, the period in which the Church founded by the risen Christ and enlivened by the Holy Spirit began to grow and to spread the Gospel to all nations. Ordinary Time thus encompasses two different periods in the Church's calendar, since the Christmas season immediately follows Advent, and the Easter season immediately follows Lent. The Church year begins with Advent, followed immediately by the Christmas season. The terms feast and festival usually—though not always in modern times—involve eating or drinking or both in connection with a specific kind of rite: passage rites, death rites, sacrificial rites, seasonal observances, commemorative observances, and rites celebrating the ending of fasts or fast periods.


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Fasting , the opposite of feasting, has often been associated with purification rites or as a preparatory discipline for the celebration of feasts and associated rites. Festivals often include not only feasting but also dramatic dancing and athletic events, as well as revelries and carnivals that at times border on the licentious. Depending upon the central purpose of a feast or festival, the celebration may be solemn or joyful, merry, festive, and ferial.

This term has come to mean a day or period of special significance not only in religious calendars e.


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  6. This section, though it will concentrate on feasts and festivals in the history of religions, will also give attention to the holidays of what has been termed the secular or profane sphere. Most secular holidays, however, have some relationship—in terms of origin—with religious feasts and festivals.

    The modern practice of vacations —i. More than days of the year were feast days dedicated to various Roman gods and goddesses.

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    Next holy days are anything but ordinary

    On the days that were sacred festivals, and thus holy days, persons rested from their routine daily activities. Days that were not considered sacred were called dies vacantes, vacant days, during which people worked. In modern times, however, vacations derived from the term dies vacantes are periods of rest, renewal, or recreation that may be sacred or secular holidays—or simply periods of time away from everyday work allowed by modern business or labour practices.

    Such investigations will not only elucidate mythological, ritualistic, doctrinal, aesthetic , and psychic motifs and themes but will also provide educative insights to modern people, who have been caught up in social and religious forces that they have found difficult to understand. Feasts and festivals in the past have been significant informational and cohesive devices for the continuity of societies and religious institutions. Even when the feasts or festivals have lost their original meanings in doctrinal or mythological explanations, the symbols preserved in the rites, ceremonies, and arts e.

    Thus, the scholarly investigations of the many and various facets of feasts and festivals will provide different forms of information that will be of help to modern people in achieving an understanding of their origins, identities, and destinies.

    Structure Your Days for Transformation: Sacred Ordinary Days Liturgical Day Planner

    By their very nature, feasts and festivals are special times, not just in the sense that they are extraordinary occasions but more so in the sense that they are separate from ordinary times. According to Mircea Eliade , a Romanian-American historian of religion, festival time is sacred; i.

    Through ritualistic re-enactment of the events that inform man about his origin, identity, and destiny, a participant in a festival identifies himself with the sacred time:.

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    Religious man feels the need to plunge periodically into this sacred and indestructible time.