The Ordo is the liturgical book that sets forth the instructions for the celebration of the liturgical services for each day of the year. The Ordo includes any Saints commemorated on that day, the biblical readings, and the liturgical color, to name just a few. Yesterday, February 3rd, there was a small notation “Ordinary Time begins today.” Liturgically we are in between things.
Ordinary Time is that time of the year that is not connected to the two great seasons of the Church year, Christmastide and Eastertide, or the period of preparation leading up to those times, Advent and Lent. The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, which is celebrated February 2nd, ends the Christmas/Epiphany Season on the Anglican-Episcopal Calendar. This year, Ash Wednesday or the beginning of Lent is on February 17th, so the time between is Ordinary Time.
But Ordinary Time is anything but ordinary. During these weeks, and the weeks that will come after Eastertide, the ministry of Jesus occurs. Jesus encounters ordinary people and has ordinary experiences. Sure, there are miracles in there, but Jesus is with the ordinary during these days.
As with all other things related to liturgical celebrations, the colors have meaning. The color for Ordinary Time is Green. Green represents the Christian life and growth in the faith. Our faith is not just about Christmas and Easter; although those seasons are essential, much of the faith life of the Church happens in those in-between times those ordinary encounters that we have during the year.
I think we lose sight of the fact that we encounter the divine in the ordinary places of our life and not just the special times. The divine is around us in all of creation, and in each person, we meet. Honor those times of encounter and those in-between times. It’s where the real work is.