The first half of the Christian year, ranging from Advent to Pentecost, is devoted to tracing the grand arc of God’s saving action in Jesus Christ. The second half of the Christian year is a long stretch of time called Ordinary Time. It starts the day after Pentecost Sunday and leads right up to the first Sunday in Advent, meaning that most of the year is spent here. (Some traditions also include the days after Epiphany and before Lent as Ordinary Time.)

With all the big holidays and celebrations over, Ordinary Time offers us the space to find our place in God’s story. We’ve celebrated and taken in the momentous life of Jesus; now we need a long stretch of days to absorb and assimilate it. In Ordinary Time, we fully take in the gospel, allowing it to take shape in our daily living, making connections between Jesus’ story and our lives.

“Ordinary” doesn’t mean boring or second-rate but simply “every­day.” The Christian faith is not an otherworldly faith; it’s about this creation, your life, these days. Ordinary Time gives us the space to consider all the implications of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ for our day by day, week-in, week-out lives.

As such, it is a time of listening to the story of God’s people. In the months of Ordinary Time, we’ll trace out the larger story of God’s salvation that prepared for Jesus’ coming and flowed from his life, death, and resurrection. It’s a time to walk through the history of God’s salvation in Israel and the church.

Ordinary Time has a variable length, so there may be more days than you need in a particular year.

At the end of Ordinary Time you will find Christ the King Sunday. This date marks the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. Watch the dates and look for the reminder to jump to Christ the King Sunday for the last week of Ordinary Time.