The Easter Season begins at Easter and continues through the Day of Pentecost. It is the most joyous and celebratory season of the Christian year. The Easter Season focuses on Christ’s resurrection and ascension and on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first Easter and the Day of Pentecost. The celebratory colors of white and gold are used until the Day of Pentecost, and the paschal candle is used at every service during this season.
Season After Pentecost
The Season after Pentecost, also called Ordinary Time or Kingdomtide, begins the day after Pentecost and is continuous through the summer and fall. The first Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday, and the last is Christ the King Sunday. This season includes Jesus’ teaching ministry and often focuses on the kingdom and reign of God. The primary color is green symbolizing growth in Christ. The celebratory colors of white and gold are used for the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.
Advent begins the Christian year with a season of spiritual expectation and preparation. Purple symbolizes the royalty of the One for whom we wait and hope. The Advent wreath is a simple circle of evergreen branches, a sign of life without end. Four candles, one for each Sunday in Advent surround the Christ candle. We pray that the keeping of Advent may open our hearts to God, and that the Advent wreath may constantly remind us to prepare for the coming of Christ.
Christmas is a season of praise and thanksgiving for the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, which begins with Christmas Eve or Day and continues through the Day of Epiphany. The celebratory colors of white and gold are used for the Christmas season, Holy Communion, and Holy Baptism.
Epiphany is the climax of the Christmas season and the 12 days of Christmas. The term epiphany means “to manifest” or “to show.” The Epiphany season is usually associated with the first manifestations of Jesus—to the wise men, in his presentation in the temple, in his baptism, to his disciples, and in his first miracle.
The Season after the Epiphany begins with the Baptism of the Lord and continues through Transfiguration Sunday, the last Sunday before Lent, and stands between the two great Christological cycles of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany and Lent-Easter-Pentecost. We use the celebratory colors of white and gold for Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, Holy Communion, and Transfiguration Sunday. Green is used for the other Sundays leading up to Lent.
Lent is a season in the Christian calendar which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. It is a season of preparation for celebrating Easter. Historically, Lent focuses on fasting, self-denial, penance, and at one time, was a preparation for Holy Baptism.
Each Sunday, when we come together in the name of the Lord, we celebrate a mini-Easter, so the penitential spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful expectation of the Resurrection. Somber colors or purple are often used during Lent.