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Ordinary Time refers to a season of the Christian liturgical calendar, particularly the calendar of the ordinary form of the Roman rite of the Catholic Church, although some other churches in Western Christianity also use the term. In Latin, the name of this season is Tempus per annum (literally time during the year).
Ordinary Time is celebrated in two segments: from the Monday following the Baptism of Our Lord up to Ash Wednesday; and from Pentecost Monday to the First Sunday of Advent. This makes it the largest season of the Liturgical Year.
Since 1970 in the ordinary form of the Roman rite in the Catholic Church, Ordinary Time comprises two periods: one beginning on the day after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (the end of the Christmas season) and ending on the day before Ash Wednesday, the other beginning on the Monday after Pentecost (the conclusion of Eastertide) and continuing until the Saturday before Advent Sunday (The First Sunday of Advent).
In the Catholic Church, Ordinary Time begins on the day following the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Church normally celebrates this feast on the Sunday after Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (6 January). However, some dioceses, including those in the United States of America, always celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday after Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (1 January); when they celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord on Sunday (7 or 8 January), they move the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord to Monday (8 or 9 January), respectively.
Therefore, Ordinary Time starts on Tuesday (9 or 10 January) in those years and dioceses. The Christmas season includes the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, so Ordinary Time begins the next day (Monday or Tuesday, not on Sunday). However, the Sunday after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is always counted as the "Second Sunday of Ordinary Time".
Ordinary Time continues through the day before Ash Wednesday, which falls between 4 February and 10 March (inclusive), and marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. Thus, for Roman Catholics, the period of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent may end amid the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth week of Ordinary Time. Ash Wednesday is a moveable feast which occurs on the 40th day (excluding Sundays) before the Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Sunday).
Ordinary Time resumes on the Monday following Solemnity of Pentecost, which is the Sunday between 10 May and 13 June that marks the 50th day of Easter. Ordinary Time concludes with the Saturday afternoon before the first Sunday of Advent (27 November to 3 December). Ordinary Time thus always includes the entire months of July, August, September and October and most or all of June and November. In some years, Ordinary Time includes a portion of May, or a day or two in early December, or both. The Catholic Church substitutes the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the Universe in the place of the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the last Sunday of the season.
Every second Sunday of the calendar year, if the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord Sunday falls January 7 to 8 will be falls on Monday.
Every third Sunday of the calendar year.
on or after
|1||Jan 7||Jan 13||Jan 12||Jan 11|
|2||Jan 14||Jan 20||Jan 19||Jan 18|
|3||Jan 21||Jan 27||Jan 26||Jan 25|
|4||Jan 28||Feb 3||Feb 2||Feb 1|
|5||Feb 4||Feb 10||Feb 9||Feb 8|
|6||Feb 11||Feb 16||Feb 15|
|7||Feb 18||Feb 23|
|8||Feb 25||Mar 2|
|9||Mar 3/4[A 1]|
|6||May 8||May 12 [A 2]|
|7||May 15||May 19||May 17 [A 2]|
|8||May 22||May 26||May 24|
|9||May 29||Jun 2||Jun 1 [A 2]||May 31|
|10||Jun 5||Jun 9||Jun 8||Jun 7|
|11||Jun 12||Jun 16||Jun 15||Jun 14|
|12||Jun 19||Jun 23||Jun 22||Jun 21|
|13||Jun 26||Jun 30||Jun 29||Jun 28|
|14||Jul 3||Jul 7||Jul 6||Jul 5|
|15||Jul 10||Jul 14||Jul 13||Jul 12|
|16||Jul 17||Jul 21||Jul 20||Jul 19|
|17||Jul 24||Jul 28||Jul 27||Jul 26|
|18||Jul 31||Aug 4||Aug 3||Aug 2|
|19||Aug 7||Aug 11||Aug 10||Aug 9|
|20||Aug 14||Aug 18||Aug 17||Aug 16|
|21||Aug 21||Aug 25||Aug 24||Aug 23|
|22||Aug 28||Sep 1||Aug 31||Aug 30|
|23||Sep 4||Sep 8||Sep 7||Sep 6|
|24||Sep 11||Sep 15||Sep 14||Sep 13|
|25||Sep 18||Sep 22||Sep 21||Sep 20|
|26||Sep 25||Sep 29||Sep 28||Sep 27|
|27||Oct 2||Oct 6||Oct 5||Oct 4|
|28||Oct 9||Oct 13||Oct 12||Oct 11|
|29||Oct 16||Oct 20||Oct 19||Oct 18|
|30||Oct 23||Oct 27||Oct 26||Oct 25|
|31||Oct 30||Nov 3||Nov 2||Nov 1|
|32||Nov 6||Nov 10||Nov 9||Nov 8|
|33||Nov 13||Nov 17||Nov 16||Nov 15|
|34||Nov 20||Nov 24||Nov 23||Nov 22|
The actual number of complete or partial weeks of Ordinary Time in any given year can total 33 or 34. In most years, Ordinary Time comprises only 33 weeks, so the Church omits one week that otherwise would precede the resumption of Ordinary Time following Pentecost Sunday. For example, in 2011, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday was the ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, but the day after Pentecost Sunday began the 11th Week in Ordinary Time.
In the Church of England, a similar situation arises with "Sundays after Trinity", as Sundays in the second period of Ordinary Time are termed (until the final four, which are termed "Sundays before Advent"). The total number of Sundays varies according to the date of Easter and can range anything from 18 to 23. When there are 23, the Collect and Post-Communion for the 22nd Sunday are taken from the provision for the Third Sunday before Lent.
In the Episcopal Church (United States), it is normal to refer to Sundays after Epiphany and Sundays after Pentecost. The use of Ordinary Time is not common.
In addition, certain solemnities and feasts that fall on Sundays during Ordinary Time preempt the observance of an ordinarily numbered Sunday. On preempted Sundays, the liturgical color of the feast or solemnity replaces the liturgical color green. These feast days include, in the Roman Catholic calendar, any holy day of obligation, any other solemnity, any feast of the Lord, and the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed Souls.
On the universal calendar, these include:
The following observances always preempt a Sunday in Ordinary Time:
Other solemnities which outrank Sundays of Ordinary Time vary from parish to parish and diocese to diocese; they may include the feast of the patron saint of a parish and the feast of the dedication of the parish church.
In addition, if a solemnity or feast that outranks a Sunday of Ordinary Time, such as those mentioned above, should occur during the week, a priest celebrating Mass with a congregation may observe the solemnity on a nearby Sunday. Such a celebration is traditionally called an "external solemnity," even if the feast in question is not ranked as a solemnity. If an external solemnity is celebrated on a Sunday, the color of that celebration is used rather than green.
Before the liturgical reforms of 1970, there were two distinct seasons in the Roman Breviary and Roman Missal, known as the season after Epiphany and the season after Pentecost, respectively. Liturgical days in these times were referred to as the -nth Sunday after Epiphany or Pentecost, or Feria II,III,IV,V or VI after the -nth Sunday.
With the reforms came the introduction of four liturgical weeks, the 6th through 9th weeks of Ordinary Time, which could fall either after Epiphany or after Pentecost, making the old numbering scheme unusable, and the term tempus per annum was used to describe both of these seasons. Before the reforms until the present, the term tempus per annum has been used to describe the season of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is not part of Advent or Christmastide, and so tempus per annum extends from Matins on 3 February through None on the last Saturday before Advent.