Ordinary Time, the longest season of the church year, fills the weeks “which do not celebrate a specific aspect of the mystery of Christ.” It’s the no-particular-reason season. Christmas Time honors the birth of Christ. Easter Time rejoices in the resurrection. Ordinary Time is devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects.
The number of the weeks of Ordinary Time replaces the old counting of weeks “after Epiphany” and “after Pentecost.” The old calendar suggested that Pentecost ran for six months. The new calendar gives Pentecost one day. Then we return to Ordinary Time.
At first glance the principles of Ordinary Time seem basic enough. Start counting the weeks after Christmas Time. Break for Lent and Easter. Resume after Pentecost and keep counting till Advent. Basically, that’s how it works. But we have a few quirks.
For example, there is no “First Sunday in Ordinary Time”; however, there is a first week. Usually Christmas Time ends on a Sunday with the Baptism of the Lord. The lectionary also calls it the First Sunday in Ordinary Time, but it is part of Christmas Time. (Some years the Baptism of the Lord falls on a Monday, but that’s another story.) Ordinary Time gets underway on a weekday. When the next Sunday rolls around we start week two.
On the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, we see the last of Ordinary Time until after Pentecost. Even then, it emerges only on weekdays. Trinity Sunday always follows Pentecost Sunday, and the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord comes the next Sunday in the United States. (In countries where this solemnity is a holy day, it falls on a Thursday.) So when the numbered Sundays in Ordinary Time return in summer, we start out a little higher than where we left off.
Sometimes we skip one or two entire weeks of Ordinary Time during the Easter break. We want to close the Sundays of the year with Christ the King, one week before Advent. Christ the King always falls on the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time. So, we determine the week number after Pentecost not based on where we left off before Lent but counting backwards from Christ the King. One or two weeks may disappear, but Ordinary Time still serves the complete mystery of Christ.
This past Christmas season we looked back to the great miracles of the past and the wonderful things God has done for us through the birth of his Son, and how important it is to remember that God still does great things for us: His miracles continue even today.
One of the often overlooked miracles is the miracle of the Mass: that God should take something as ordinary as bread and wine and change them into his Body and Blood so that he may literally come into us and show us his goodness.
The book, Living the Mass, serves not only as a good reminder of the importance and meaning of the various parts of the mass, but so beautifully shows how, as baptized Catholics, we are called not simply to go to mass, but to live the mass all week long. The mass is not something we simply attend, it is something we do. As we receive the Lord, we are called to bring the Lord to others.
When you come to Mass this Christmas, please accept this gift from your parish family. All I ask in return is that you will indeed read this book. Hopefully this book will inspire you. Hopefully you will learn more about the beauty of the mass we celebrate. May it serve as a good reminder that the best way to celebrate the birth of our Savior is not by just “going” to mass on this special day, but by “living” the mass every day.
Like last year, we will hold a series of workshops in January so that we can learn and share our experience of the Mass together. Please follow the link below to sign up.
We invite you to consider our new electronic giving program as a way to automate your regular weekly offerings.
Electronic giving is convenient for you and provides much-needed consistency for our church. There is no cost for you to participate.
As an example, if you are currently giving on a weekly basis, you will no longer need to write out 52 checks a year or prepare 52 envelopes. And when travel, illness, or other circumstances prevent you from attending mass, this program will allow your weekly offerings to continue on a uninterrupted basis.
To find out more about our excited new service, click here.
We are a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled family. Responding to the Father's loving invitation, we gather together as a diverse community to worship, to minister to others, and to celebrate our faith through the sacraments, community outreach, education, and personal witness.
To deepen and enhance the spiritual life of the parish through liturgy, personal prayer, and devotions.
To provide religious education and spiritual formation.
To minister to those within the Parish family and community.
To reach out to returning Catholics and unchurched persons.
To deepen our commitment to stewardship of prayer, time and talent, and treasure.
To celebrate our diversity and our commonality.
Sts. Peter & Paul Parish was established on July 27, 1967. We celebrated our first Mass on August 13, 1967, on the grounds of Camp San Pedro. During the following two years, Pastor Michael Troy and 200 families were a community on the road, celebrating Mass in San Pedro Center, New Hope Baptist Church and Aloma Elementary School. On November 1, 1969, we celebrated the first Mass in the domed recreational building. It served not only as our church, but also the rectory, church offices, ministry meeting room and community auditorium.