The Christian calendar is divided up by festivals and seasons.
Some, like Christmas Day, happen on the same date every year, while others move around within a range of dates.
The main festival that moves is Easter, and since many other festivals have their dates fixed in relation to Easter, they move with it.
Lent is the 40 day period before Easter starting on Ash Wednesday. During Lent, Christians might fast, or give up some of their usual routine, to give time to personal examination and reflect on their relationship with God. Most years our 3 churches have a ‘Lent Challenge’ which normally centers around helping people less fortunate than us.
Holy Week is the last week of Lent. It’s the week before Easter and the time during the Christian year when Christians remember the last week in Jesus’ life. Like many churches we have something happening each day of Holy Week.
This is when Christians remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s the most important festival in the Christian year.
Good Friday – 19 April
Holy Saturday – 20 April
Easter Sunday or Easter Day – 21 April
Ascension Day commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 40 days after his resurrection from the dead. It marks the end of Jesus’ ministry here on Earth.
Pentecost is the festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is celebrated on the Sunday fifty days after Easter. Pentecost is also known as Whitsun.
Trinity Sunday is a day when Christians think of the nature of God rather than, as with other festivals, commemorating historical events of special significance.
Advent is the four week period before Christmas. There are four Sundays in Advent. The word ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’ and in this case, points towards the birth of Jesus celebrated at Christmas.
Christmas (25 December – 5 January)
The season of Christmas begins on the 25 December and traditionally lasts twelve days ending on 5 January. Christmas is the time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Epiphany (6 January)
The Epiphany, or revelation, of the baby Jesus as the Son of God come into the world, is traditionally celebrated on the 6 January.