The liturgical calendar marks the cycle of church seasons and holy days in the Christian church.
This page provides an overview of the liturgical calendar, with links to more in-depth information about each liturgical season. To find related prayers and meditations, choose the season you want from the All Seasons dropdown in the menu above.
You can view all the seasons’ starting and ending days, as well as the lessons associated with each Sunday, on a separate web site called The Lectionary Page.
Each Season In Turn
Different churches and denominations vary somewhat in the exact timing of some seasons and holy days, but the sequence and meaning is largely the same. Here in the Courtyard, we use the Episcopal liturgical calendar to mark the church seasons, saints’ days, and festivals.
Unlike the secular calendar, which starts on January 1, the liturgical calendar begins with Advent season, starting on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Often Advent begins the last Sunday of November, but depending on how the dates fall, it can begin the first Sunday of December.
Seasons come thick and fast in the first half of the liturgical year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter follow one another in quick succession, from December to May. Holy Week, the week immediately before Easter Sunday, is sometimes considered part of Lent, and sometimes seen as a mini-season all its own.
Easter season extends for seven weeks after Easter Sunday, ending on Pentecost, which occurs about six months after the start of Advent, in May or early June. The Green Season, sometimes called Pentecost Season, or Ordinary Time, covers the second half of the liturgical year, stretching through to the end of November, when Advent rolls around again.