Sunday, February 1, 2009

So, what's so ordinary about "Ordinary Time", anyway?

Nothing ordinary about it!

That is, if the definition of "ordinary" that you are thinking of is "plain, dull, uninteresting, unexciting."

The root of the word "ordinary" as used in Ordinary Time is the one that means counted. As in ordinal numbers--remember those? I didn't either till I had to teach about them in first grade. Oh, I knew them all right: first, second, third, and so on. I just hadn't realized that there was a name for the category. (Don't you hate when that happens. There were a number of things I had to teach in first grade that I had never heard of till college.) BTW, the other numbers (one, two, three, and so on) are cardinal numbers.

So these Sundays are the weeks counted between the particular seasons surrounding specific feasts. They are all the weeks that are not part of Advent, the Christmas season, Lent, and the Easter season.

Are they ordinary in the other sense of the word? No. For each year during Ordinary Time we explore a different one of the Gospels in sequence--and what is more exciting than following through the life of Jesus and the extraordinary events that showed him as who he is--God made man.

Counted with ordinal numbers, but otherwise, not ordinary at all.

(BTW, we used to know these same Sundays as the Sundays after Epiphany and the Sundays after Pentecost. Some still do.)


RuneE said...

Excuse me for ssying it, but it reminded me of the start of a lecture in - statistics...

PS Thank you for the comments - Maybe I should a posted that magpie as an Odd shot.

CrazyCath said...

Thanks for the explanation. I remember some of the names of the Sundays, and I think the Church of England did (do?) the "sunday after..." names.
Jehovah;s Witnesses don't name Sundays in this way at all but it is interesting to see the different ways of doing things. Love the psalm in the post below. The greatest rock ever is the one we owe salvation to - Almighty God.
Hope you are well Katney and hubby. Blessings.

PERBS said...

Good explanation. What? No ordinary photos to display? Ü