The Liturgical Year
Shepherd of the Valley Church is a Lutheran Church that observes the Lutheran liturgical year. The liturgical calendar is the changing seasons of the Christian Faith in worship. The Christian church, following earlier Jewish tradition, has long used the seasons of the year as an opportunity for festivals and holidays, sacred time set aside to worship God as the Lord of life.
The Christian liturgical calendar is organized around two major centers of Sacred Time: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany; and Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, concluding at Pentecost. The rest of the year following Pentecost is known as Ordinary Time, from the word "ordinal," which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, etc.). Please see the diagram below which details the Lutheran Liturgical Year.
The Liturgical Year creates a way of understanding the passing of time. We are drawn into a cycle that can become such a part of our lives that it determines how we understand the structure of each passing year. As each passing year takes shape, we see time itself, past, present and future, in a sacred way. All of the great moments of the Liturgical Year celebrate the salvific events of Jesus Chris. Those events are made present here and now as offers of grace, yet they are also relevant to eternity.