Mr. Lyall's Line
In these days after Christmas and before Lent, we celebrate "ordinary time." This time certainly is anything but ordinary and focuses on the devotion to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. The Latin Tempus Per Annum ("time throughout the year") is rendered into English as "Ordinary Time." Many sources, both online and in print, suggest that Ordinary Time is derived from the word ordinal, meaning "numbered," since the Sundays of Ordinary Time, as in other seasons, are ordered numerically.
Ordinary time does not need to be "ordinary," and is not somehow a "break" from the Liturgical Year. The opposite is actually true: Ordinary Time celebrates "the mystery of Christ in all its aspects." Many important liturgical celebrations fall during Ordinary Time, including, Trinity, Corpus Christi, All Saints, the Assumption of Mary, and Christ the King. In addition, the Church continues to celebrate Saints days and other events such as The Octave of Christian Unity. The major feasts, when occurring on a Sunday, trump the regular Ordinary Time Sunday lessons and liturgy. In the American Catholic Church, Corpus Christi is usually transferred to a Sunday, so often there are fewer than the 33 or 34 Sundays labeled "Sundays of Ordinary Time," although these Sundays still fall within Ordinary Time. We also may remember and celebrate the parts of Jesus' life that were ordinary, much like our own lives. The color of green is appropriate because it is the most ordinary color in our natural environment.
Here is a prayer to use in Ordinary time:
Prayer to Grow With the Church Year
I know that all human relations take time
if they are to grow and deepen.
This is also true of my relations
with You, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
which must grow over the course of my life.
However, this growth is not automatic;
time alone means nothing
unless I add earnest efforts to it.
You have inspired Your Church to set aside special times
when this growth can develop more intensely -
the special seasons of the Church Year.
If I fail to move toward You during these times,
I waste precious opportunities
and endanger my spiritual life.
Help me to take them seriously
and make a real attempt to use them well,
so that I may grow into the person
You want me to be.
With you in Christ,