The Season following Pentecost

Back to the Church Calendar . . .

After 50 days of Easter and the excitement of Pentecost, we move gently into the Season following Pentecost, a long, quiet time, not anchored down by, or preparing for any particular major Festival, like Advent preparing for Christmas or Lent preparing for Easter. Pentecost’s absence of any major church festival seems ironic in light of our chocked full secular calendar. This is the time when we celebrate Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. And, if you are part of my family, add to that at least half a dozen birthdays and anniversaries!

This relatively quiet time on the church calendar has also been called the Ordinary Season, not because it is ordinary, but because the season is measured by ordinals; that is, numbers or order of placement in a numbered series, like dates on a calendar. Let me explain.

It begins on the Monday following that explosive Pentecost Day that kicked off the rapid spread of the Good News, complete with rushing winds in the upper room, tongues of fire above the heads of the followers of Jesus, and a sudden fluency in multiple languages that enabled them to announce the resurrection to pilgrims in Jerusalem traveling from countries afar to celebrate Shavuot.

It may include twenty eight or twenty nine Sundays, depending on whether you call the first Sunday after Pentecost the First Sunday after Pentecost and count from there, making it 29 Sundays; or you call the first Sunday after Pentecost Trinity Sunday and count from there, in which case there are 28 Sundays. Don’t you just love this!?

Actually I do. It is after all the orderly way. Nonetheless, I’m drawn to spicing up things when it gets too quiet, so instead of posts that spring from the inspiration of major church festivals, I’ll challenge myself to post to secular festivals like Mother’s Day (Done deal), Father’s Day (Yep), 4th of July, etc. Undoubtedly my husband is once again correct when he says, “With Carol’s family, it’s any excuse for a party!” Really? Have you ever heard of a Pentecost Party?