Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

Tempus per Annum “Time through the Year”

January 21, 2013

Ordinary Time

“The term given to the space between the major Feasts of the church year is called Ordinary Time which refers to all of those parts of the Catholic Church's liturgical year that aren't included in the major seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter). Ordinary Time is a feature of the current (post-Vatican II) liturgical calendar. In the traditional Catholic calendar (before 1970), the Sundays of Ordinary Time were referred to as the Sundays after Epiphany and the Sundays after Pentecost. Ordinary Time encompasses two different periods in the Catholic Church’s liturgical year. Ordinary Time begins on the Monday after the first Sunday after January 6 (the Feast of the Epiphany) and runs until Ash Wednesday. Both Lent and the Easter season fall outside Ordinary Time, which resumes again on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday and runs until the First Sunday in Advent (the start of the new liturgical year).”


 Ordinary Time is one of the most confusing seasons in the Catholic Church’s liturgical year because it is not “ordinary” at all. It seems to lose its importance because it happens between Feasts. But if you look above at the “pie chart,” you will see just how much green is covering the circle. Ordinary time does not need to be "ordinary," and it doesn’t mean that somehow we get a break from the Liturgical Year. As I said in my blog last week entitled, Fakara, “it is not time to take four weeks off from the Church and wait for Ash Wednesday.” When I see all of the lush green in terms of the church year, I think of good roots…wet soil for cultivating…God’s tears enmeshed with our tears as they irrigate our souls…a richness for gaining a closer relationship with God…a time for “hope” in our lives…a time for preparing for  fullness when each Feast arrives. It deepens the meaning of the “Word of God,” much more so than ever before. Ordinary Time helps us to remember all of the important events and mysteries in Christ’s life which are pivotal in our spiritual lives. Just as we have the waxing and waning of the moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the sunrise and sunset when each day and night begins…we have the rhythm of the liturgical seasons which mirrors the rhythm of life with its festive days for Feasts and its quiet time for growth and maturation.


It may have seemed to you at times, that this time is, well, ordinary; in the sense that it is not as important. But that is not so. “Prior to the new missal that followed Vatican II, these days were referred to as related to Sundays after Epiphany and Sundays after Pentecost. This time is called Tempus per annum, “time through the year.” It is from this that we render in English, Ordinary Time. Rather than meaning unimportant, it means ordered, as in Ordered Time.”


Edward Hays’ prescription for Ordinary Time is to:


“Take time, slow down,

be still, be awake to the

Divine Mystery that looks

so common and so ordinary

yet is wondrously



Macrina Wiederkehr’s prescription for Ordinary Time is to tell us that:


“Life wants to lead you

from crumbs to angels,

but this can happen

only if you are willing

to unwrap the ordinary

by staying with it

long enough to harvest its treasure.”



I am going to use Macrina’s thoughts as my Song du jour because it is a song from Macrina’s heart. She is so deep within herself and yet she unselfishly shares her wisdom with all of us. We are her beneficiaries. In this month’s edition of “Give Us This Day,” Macrina Wiederkehr gives us a reflection which I believe weaves us into Ordinary Time and this is what she tells us (from the seasons of her heart) from her new book entitled, Abide:


“Learn to listen! The voice inviting you is voiceless…most ancient of all voices; enticing voice without words. Listen from within the cells of your being; from the marrow of your bones…listen. From the deepest source of your life…listen…a holy vibration, a gentle movement, a persistent tugging summons you into deepening places.’


‘Learn to go deep! Like the waves of the sea, you are being pulled back into the depth. Embrace the depths. Deep calls unto deep. There is a depth in you to which you must return…most silent of all calls. A voice without words calls you to the deepening places.’


‘Learn to abide! Remain in Christ as Christ remains in you. Be like a sponge. Soak up the Word of God. Absorb it. Make the Word your home. Live in the Word. Abide. Dwell. Inhabit. Reside. Trust the deepening places.’


‘Learn to be silent! Silent as the leaves fall, silent as the blossoming flowers, silent as the moment before dawn. You are being summoned into the temple of silence. Practice silence, for this voiceless voice can be heard only in the shrine of silence…you are being chosen for the deepening places.”  AMEN.


“That in all things God may be glorified”


Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB


Art: taken from

Liturgical Facts: taken from

                             taken from

Spiritual Awakenings taken from: Abide: Keeping Vigil with the Word of God

                                                          By Macrina Wiederkehr, OS



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