- The Church fulfills the Great Commission
- The Season After Pentecost lasts from the day after Pentecost to the day before Advent. Thus it begins on 16 June 2016 and ends on 26 November 2016.
- In most churches, the decorations are green to symbolize the growth and life of the Church. You can read more about color in worship
- Scripture Readings:
- The Revised Common Lectionary appoints Scripture readings for use in worship during the Season after Pentecost.
- The East:
- In Orthodox churches, this season lasts from the day after Pentecost through 14 November.
- Special Days:
- See below.
The Season After Pentecost is essentially the part of the year that is left over after everything has been accounted for. The name of this season varies widely from church to church—it can be called Kingdomtide, Dominiontide, or Ordinary Time. In most churches, the general theme of the Bible readings and sermons concerns the church’s mission in the world.
The Season After Pentecost begins on the day after Pentecost. In the western Church, it ends on the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. In the eastern Church, it ends on 14 November.
The main holy days during this season are as follows:
The Western Church
- Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost, the celebration of the Holy Trinity.
- The Transfiguration. In many churches, 6 August is the commemoration of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on Mount Tabor. In the Revised Common Lectionary, it has been moved to the Last Sunday After the Epiphany.
- Holy Cross Day, 14 September, originally commemorates the alleged discovery of the true cross in Palestine in the fourth century. In Lutheran churches, it is the occasion for preaching on the theology of the cross.
- All Saints’ Day, 1 November, the Christian Memorial Day on which all who died for their testimony of Jesus are remembered. Many American churches use All Saints’ Day as an educational, Christian alternative to the secular Halloween, by having a party and a special service for children, who dress in costumes to represent heroes of the Christian faith. The practice of having a harvest festival to avoid the secular Halloween is ironic, since that puts us right back into the pagan things we were trying to avoid. The word Halloween itself is a contraction of All hallows’ evening, which is the original English-language Christian term for All Saints’ Eve. (‘Hallow’ is an old word for ‘holy’ and ‘saint.’)
Lutherans observe Reformation Day on 31 October, because it is the day on which Martin Luther posted 95 theses on a church door, an act that led to the Reformation. Don’t imagine him angrily vandalizing the church door by forcefully nailing his theses to it as onlookers gasped. Instead, imagine him humming to himself as he casually tacks up his invitation on the church door as passers-by hardly give him a second glance. After all, they couldn’t read it because it was in Latin. It was customary for a scholar to set up a debate and invite the others by nailing an announcement in Latin on the thick wooden church door. This much was routine. On this occasion, however, someone took the debate topics down from the church door, translated them from Latin into German, and distributed them among the general public. What Luther intended to be a debate among scholars turned first into a public debate and then into the Reformation.
The Eastern Church
- All Saints’ Day, The Sunday after Pentecost, the Christian Memorial Day on which all who died for their testimony of Jesus are remembered. Eastern Christians celebrate Trinity Sunday on Pentecost.
- Holy Cross Day, 14 September, originally commemorates the alleged discovery of the true cross in Palestine in the fourth century.
- The Transfiguration, 6 August, the commemoration of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on Mount Tabor.
Roughly speaking, the western Church consists of Protestants, Catholics, and Anglicans. The eastern Church consists of the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Orthodox Oriental churches, and the eastern-rite churches affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
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