Nov 14, 2010

Catholic Time Keeping: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

I've finally gotten to a point where I actually understand what that title means. :) To break it down, let's start with the end and work our way backwards.

Year C: The Catholic church has a three year cycle for the readings given during the service, called Mass by Catholics. Every three years the readings are repeated, but because your life events vary the readings seem ever fresh. Or so the theory goes. I'm just beginning to understand this, but it makes sense. The years are labeled Year A, Year B, and Year C. 2010 is Year C, and 2011 will be year A.

Ordinary Time: This refers to all non special time in the church calendar. The Church has various seasons, Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time is the time that isn't one of those seasons.

The thirty-third Sunday is mostly self-explanatory. The only tricky part is that the Ordinary time part of the year is in two parts, one between Advent/Christmas and Lent, and the other between Lent and Advent. So, the 33rd Sunday isn't the the 33rd Sunday after Easter. It is the 33rd Sunday since Christmas that isn't in Lent or Easter. Confusing isn't it? But, with practice and a handy iTunes app or other Catholic calendar source, you get used to it.

There may be more quirks to this way of reckoning time. But, I'm sure I'll understand them as I get used to using them.