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Lutheran Church Calendar

Seasons of the Church Calendar

The Lutheran church calendar falls into three main seasons: Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, and Pentecost. The Advent and Christmas season is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ, and it is also a time of joy. Lent is a time to meditate on the suffering and resurrection of Jesus. Pentecost starts the second half of the church year, continuing until Advent. This is a time where we remember the disciples receiving the Holy Spirit. 

Advent and Christmas

Advent and Christmas

At the start of the church calendar, we celebrate Advent and Christmas to prepare for Christ’s coming. During this season, we rejoice in our Savior and celebrate His birth in Bethlehem.

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Lent and Easter

Lent and Easter

Lent is a time of self-reflection and repentance during the second part of the church calendar. Often, we give up something (such as sweets) in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross.

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Pentecost

Pentecost

Pentecost is the final, non-festival part of the church calendar. We focus on Jesus’ ministry and the Early Church, as described in Acts 2. This is the longest season of the year.

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Commemorations, Feasts, and Festivals

Commemorations, feasts and festivals are all slightly different and have a unique place in the liturgical church calendar. We celebrate these days in thanksgiving for the people and events that shaped the early Christian church and the Lutheran church today.

Commemorations are days set aside to remember important men and women that have gone before us in faith: saints, martyrs, missionaries and more. We commemorate what they have done to the Glory of God during their life. A Feast is often a one-day observance of a historical person or a biblical character, sometimes intertwined with Jesus’ earthly ministry. Festivals are usually multiple days and can honor events, such as Reformation Day, or people. All of these days are moments of devotion and reminders of what God has done for us and given us.

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One-Year and Three-Year Lectionary

One-Year: This historic lectionary repeats key biblical texts every year, including selections from each of the four Gospels. It is easier for memorization of key Bible verses, as they are repeated annually, but is less widely used in the modern church. 

Three-Year: This is the most common lectionary, and the one that we follow on this site. Year A focuses on the Gospel of Matthew; Year B reviews the Gospel of Mark and selections from the Gospel of John. Year C focuses on the Gospel of Luke.