Winston-Salem, NC
Home Calendar History Gallery Ministries Who we are
Marvin United Methodist Church

The Methodist Liturgical Calendar


But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will server the Lord.       --Joshua 24:15 (NIV)


Worship is one of those nouns that works like a verb – it demands action.  It is a word designed to stimulate our senses, shape our emotions, and define who GOD is in our lives.  GOD does not care that some of us are traditionalists and others of us are contemporary or that still others of us are charismatic.

GOD does not even care where or when we worship.  GOD just commands us to WORSHIP!  So, in your search for the perfect way to worship, remember to just stop and look inside your hearts.

Worship or Liturgy is divided into Seasons.  Throughout the global United Methodist Church, we celebrate six Seasons of the divine calendar – Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.  Within those Seasons we also find the Liturgical (Worshiping) Colors – purple (violet or blue), white, green, black, gold, and red.  These colors, adorning the altar and worn by the clergy, change to symbolize the significant events of those times.  The altar adornments are called “paraments” (objects made of richly decorated fabric, especially a ceremonial robe, tapestry, or wall hanging).


THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

THE Liturgical SEASONS

Advent – celebrates the coming or birth of Christ

Advent is the beginning of the church new year (any day between November 27 and December 3; always contains four Sundays; ends Christmas Eve).  The traditional liturgical color is purple (violet), blue is gaining popularity.

Christmas – celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Jesus

Christmas begins Christmas Day and lasts for 12 days.  The liturgical color is white.

Epiphany – celebrates the manifestation of the divine nature of  Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi

Epiphany begins the first Sunday in January and varies in length depending on the date set for Easter.  It lasts until Septuagesima Sunday, 64 days before Easter.  For the first and last Sundays, the liturgical color is white, for Ash Wednesday, it is purple, and for the other days, it is green.

Lent – observes a season of penitence

Lent is the season lasting forty-six days (not counting Sundays) beginning Ash Wednesday and ending the eve of Easter.  The liturgical color is purple (violet).  On Good Friday, black is substituted.

Easter – celebrates the commemoration of the Resurrection of  Christ

Easter begins on Easter Sunday and continues for fifty days until Pentecost. The liturgical color is white and gold.

Pentecost – commemorates the decent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples

Pentecost begins the “fiftieth day” after Easter and is longest season of the church year.  It lasts until the first Sunday in Advent.  The liturgical color for the first Sunday is red; Trinity, Christ the King, All Saints Day is white. The liturgical color for all other Sundays following Pentecost Sunday is green.

Some Prominent Seasons are as follows:

Lent – observes a season of penitence (fasting and praying)

Lent is the season lasting forty-six days (not counting Sundays) beginning Ash Wednesday and ending the eve of Easter.  The liturgical color is purple (violet).  Good Friday, black is substituted.  Within the Lenten Season, we observe the following sacred events:

Ash Wednesday – addresses sin and death

The day ashes are rubbed on foreheads symbolizing that we are dust, and to dust we shall return, but with God’s grace we can learn to live this life more fully, embracing our sinfulness, allowing God to transform us.

Palm Sunday – signals the upcoming end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week

The day commemorates the spreading of palms and clothing in Jesus’ path as He entered Jerusalem prior to His crucifixion.

Holy/Maundy Thursday – the word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word for ‘command’ (man datum)

The command Jesus gave His disciples to love one another.  The day, on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, sharing a meal with them, which we call the Last Supper.

Good Friday – a day of mourning

The holy day of meditation for Christians, celebrated the Friday before Easter.  It commemorates the suffering and death on the cross – the Crucifixion of Jesus at Calvary.

Easter – celebrates the commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ

Easter begins on Easter Sunday and continues for fifty days until Pentecost. The liturgical color is white and/or gold.

Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and women followers of Jesus, fifty days after Easter, and ten days after Ascension Thursday.  After the ascension of Jesus, the apostles having retired to a house at Jerusalem, they there waited for the Holy Spirit, which Jesus had promised.  (Read Acts 2:1-3)  The Season of Pentecost celebrates that first Pentecost when all those who believed in Jesus Christ were gathered awaiting the coming of the Holy Ghost.  Their being on one accord was a result of things unseen that created an atmosphere celebrating their differences, and made them one.