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Learn a Little


The first bit of information we've managed to assemble is a guide to the ecclesiastical calendar, or church (liturgical) year. We have included the seasons and holy days we hold in common with most Christian churches, as well as days commemorating events in Moravian history. It should be noted that Christians do not believe that Christ was born on December 25, or that we have much of an idea of on exactly what day many biblical events took place. It is the event and its meaning which is significant; not the day on which it took place. The days on which we celebrate are matters of custom.

Liturgical Year

The Season of Advent

Sunday December 2 through Sunday December 23, 2001

Emphasis: Anticipating the Coming of the Lord
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are purple or blue; royal colors to welcome the King.
Notes: Advent begins on the Sunday nearest November 30, whether before or after. It is considered the first season of the Church year.

The Season of Christmas

Tuesday, December 25 2001 through Saturday, January 5 2002

Emphasis: Celebrating the Birth of Christ
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are white to represent purity.
Notes: These are the "Twelve Days of Christmas" mentioned in the well-known carol.
Tuesday, December 25 - Christmas Day
commemorates the nativity of Jesus Christ.

The Season of Epiphany

Sunday January 6 through Tuesday February 12 2002

Emphasis: Jesus' Ministry to the Gentiles; celebrating that the Good News is for all the World.
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are green to symbolize growth and life.
Notes: The word "epiphany" has come to mean a sudden realization of the deep meaning of something; in the Christian context, it refers to the understanding that Christ is the redeemer of all people, not just the Jewish community to which he belonged.
Sunday January 6 - The Epiphany
is traditionally connected with the visit of the magi from the east to the baby Jesus.

The Season of Lent

Wednesday February 13 through Saturday March 30 2002

Emphasis: Retreating Into the Wilderness with Jesus; Self-examination, Penitence and Prayer.
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are purple or blue, royal colors to prepare for the King.
Notes: Lent (from the Middle English word for Spring) begins on Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter. It is patterned after the 40 days Jesus spent praying in the desert.Without Sundays, there are 40 days in Lent. The final week in Lent is Holy Week, also called Passion Week, from an archaic use of the word passion to mean suffering.
Wednesday February 13 - Ash Wednesday

Friday March 1 - Moravian -Founding of the Unitas Fratrum (Worldwide Moravian Church) in 1457

Holy Week

Emphasis: Reenacting the Passion (Suffering and Martyrdom) of Our Lord
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are red to symbolize the blood of martyrdom, except on Good Friday, when they are black to represent mourning.
Sunday March 24 - Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday) is a remembrance of the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Thursday March 28 - Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday) celebrates the institution of Communion (Last Supper).
Friday March 29 - Good Friday commemorates the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ.
Saturday March 30 - Holy Saturday is the Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the grave.

The Season of Easter

Sunday March 31 through Sunday May 19 2002

Emphasis: Celebrating the Resurrection of Christ
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are white, gold, or white and gold. White represents purity and the resurrection, while gold symbolizes triumph over sin and death. Many churches use red decorations on Pentecost.
Notes: Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon on or next after March 21 (the spring equinox); if the full moon happens on Sunday, Easter is the Sunday after that. Pentecost, the last day of the Easter season, is seven weeks after Easter.
Sunday March 31 - Easter Day
celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and triumph over death and sin.
Friday May 10 - Ascension Day commemorates the story of Christ's ascent into heaven.
Sunday May 12 - Moravian - Adoption of the Brotherly Agreement (Covenant for Christian Living) at Herrnhut in1727.
Sunday May 19 - Pentecost celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, comforter and sustainer of humanity.

The Season after Pentecost (Ordinary Time)

Monday May 20 through Saturday November 30 2002

Emphasis: The life and teachings of Jesus and the church's mission in the world.
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are green to symbolize the growth and life of the Church.
Sunday May 26 Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian concept of God as Triune: Jesus the Redeemer, God the Creator, and the Holy Spirit as One God in Three "persons", a mystery which, as Moravians put such things, is "impenetrable to human reason".
Monday June 17 - Moravian - Beginning of Herrnhut by emigrants from Moravia (1722)
Sat July 6 - Moravian - Martyrdom of Jan Hus (1415)
Tuesday August 13 - Moravian -Spiritual renewal of the Unitas Fratrum at Herrnhut (1727)
Wednesday August 21 - Moravian -Beginning of Moravian Missions in 1732.
Friday November 1 - All Saints' Day is the day on which Christians remember the witness and testimony of those who have gone before.
Wednesday November 13 - Moravian - On this day in 1741, the Unitas Fratrum made a formal acknowledgment that there can be no head of the church other than Jesus Christ.



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Copyright 1998 - 2001. All rights reserved.
Last updated on December 2001