Welcome to the website of St Patrick’s – Southport.
There’s often excitement and interest linked with some feasts and seasons of the church year: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter. By comparison, “Ordinary Time” could sound pretty dull, uninteresting and commonplace. But is it?
Ordinary Time occurs between Christmastide and Lent and Pentecost and Advent. “Ordinary Time” is not simply “time in between” nor “ordinary. Ordinary is the same as ordinal, meaning (time) counted in order and relationship. There are 33 or 34 Ordinary Time weeks, beginning after Epiphany, and ending with the feast of Christ the King.
The special focus of this six month period is the celebration of life, death and resurrection of Jesus grappling with its mystery and how to live it in our daily lives. As this is what every Sunday is really about, Ordinary Time gives us a long period of reflection and a chance to establish good habits.
Sunday, or “the Lord’s Day,” was the day early Christians held precious as the day they met the risen Christ. It was a fitting day, then, for Christians to come together as a community called by God, and thank God for God’s goodness. They did this in the celebration of Eucharist (eucharistos means thanksgiving).
Ordinary Time may be summed up by “living Sunday well.” It’s not a period equivalent to weekend partying, but is more in keeping with the mature faithfulness and perseverance of “Monday to Friday.” It does not have the urgency of a short, sharp period of preparation for a feast, but needs the loving steadfastness of the long haul.
It is a time for the slow growth of the seed, for cultivating and pruning the plant, for regular watering and fertilisation. It is a time for retaining the vision, maintaining oil in the lamps, regular prayer, and continuing our Christian mission in the family, workplace and world. Green is the colour for this season. It is associated with spring, life, growth and hope.
Lived well, Ordinary Time can help us to be open to God’s goodness, blessings and riches within, in the family, church and society. In that way, we can experience the really extraordinary in the ordinary.
May this Ordinary Time be a season of many blessings for all of us and a time when we experience God’s love in everything we do.