At Tabernacle we follow the Christian year in our cycles of worship. Each season of the year reminds us of certain truths contained in scripture and helps us focus on what is most important about following God. The lectionary is divided into three different years with each of the synoptic Gospels taking the center stage. The Gospel of John is divided and used during special seasons during all three years. We are currently in the third year; year C which follows the Gospel of Luke. 


The four weeks before Christmas are a preparation time for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus. The color purple symbolizes Jesus’ royalty.  This is a season of anticipation as we wait for the Christ child to be born. We also use this time to remember that Christ will come again. The first Sunday of Advent is the Christian New Years Day. This season is most known for the lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath. Each candle is named for the theme of that Sunday, and are Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. The Christ Candle is not lit until Christmas Eve, but stays lit each Sunday for the rest of the year (with the exception of Good Friday). The colors for this season are purple or blue. 


This is the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, the coming of Creator God into the midst of the human family. The colors of gold and white symbolize a festival time during the twelve days of Christmas.


Epiphany immediately follows Christmastide and its recollection of the birth of Jesus.  The Biblical basis for Epiphany is in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 2, verses 1-11. It is the story of the visit of scholars from a distant land to honor a new born child who would be important to the whole human race. Epiphany is a time for expanding the vision of Christian people. Stories of Jesus in the Gospels are emphasized during this season as we grow to see Jesus more clearly, it is like a light growing ever brighter.  The colors used are white, gold and green. 

Baptism of Christ Sunday 

This celebration was originally a part of Epiphany, but over time it became a holiday of its own. On this day we take the time to remember our own Baptisms and come forward to receive a drop of water on our heads as a reminder of what Baptism means to us and to our entire community of faith. The color for this Sunday is white. 

Transfiguration Sunday

Transfiguration Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday of the Epiphany season. It commemorates the season of Jesus being revealed in the Gospels by remembering Jesus being bathed in light and revealed in his glory. In some traditions this is celebrated in August. The color for this Sunday is white. 


Beginning with Ash Wednesday, this 40-day event is a time of fasting in imitation of Jesus’ experience in the wilderness of temptation. The story is in the Gospel of Matthew 4:1-11. On Ash Wednesday we remember that we are dust, and will return to dust. We mark our foreheads with ash made from palm branches used on the previous year’s palm Sunday.  It is a time of preparation for Easter and of repentance. Self examination, control of appetites, and spiritual devotion are obligations for many Christians in all world cultures during Lent. Conscious attention to the tragic evils in the human family is encouraged. We believe that it is impossible to experience the joy of Easter without walking through the trial of Lent. Colors frequently used are purple, ash gray, and red.

The days between Palm Sunday and Holy Saturday before Easter are known as Holy Week. These days observe the events in the life of Jesus from the entry into Jerusalem through the crucifixion and burial. Palm Sunday is sometimes called Passion Sunday because of the tragic events of the week to come. This is a Sunday of celebration as palm branches are processed throughout the sanctuary in remembrance of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. The primary observances of Holy Week are: Maundy Thursday (instruction of the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper); Good Friday (the passion and death of Jesus); and Holy Saturday (the burial of Jesus). The color for Maundy Thursday is purple. On Good Friday the color is black. 



The principal and most ancient festival of the Christian church year is Easter. Following the death and burial of Jesus and his resurrection, there was a renewal of the very life of Jesus Christ in the fellowship of believers in the early Church. Eastertide is the season continuing through Pentecost.  Each Sunday is a weekly celebration of the resurrection of Christ. The liturgical color for this season is purple. 


This celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit to a gathering of believers shortly after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus is a major observance for Christians. The festival is observed 50 days after Easter. The day takes place on the Jewish day of Pentecost, thanksgiving for the first fruits of the wheat harvest. For Christians, the experience of the energy of the Spirit was a “first fruit” of the new era that had dawned for the believers. In some parts of the Church, Pentecost is a special time for baptism of new believers. Throughout the Church, Pentecost is when the surprising vital energy of the presence of Creator God influences worship and challenges people to new life in Christ. Pentecost begins on Sunday and continues through the Saturday before Trinity Sunday.  The liturgical color for this season is red. 

Ordinary Time

The use of the word ordinary comes from a Latin term meaning time throughout the year. This is the longest period of the church year and is not marked by the three-fold celebrations of Christs birth (Advent-Christmas-Epiphany) or death and resurrection (Lent-Easter-Pentecost). There are several special holidays during this time. The liturgical color for this season is green. 

Trinity Sunday 

This is the day we celebrate the mystery of the Trinity. This means that God exists in three persons while still being one. The persons of the Trinity are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is an ancient belief that seeks to explain the relationship and love that exists between the three persons that make up the Trinity.  The liturgical color for this day is white. 

World Communion Sunday.

This is a relatively recent holiday on the Christian Calendar. It was begin by the Presbyterian Church in 1933 and has come to be celebrated all over the world by many denominations. It is a time to promote Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. At Tabernacle this is a very special day for us as it commemorates the anniversary of the first Burmese refugees attending services with us. The liturgical color for this day is green. 

Reformation Day

Reformation day falls on October 31 of each year. It is usually celebrated on the Sunday immediately before or after its occurrence. This is the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing 95 thesis to the doors of the Wittenburg church protesting corrupt practices in the Church. This event is largely viewed as beginning the Protestant Reformation. We take this time not only to celebrate, but also to mourn the division that exists in the universal Church today. The liturgical color for this day is red which represents the Holy Spirit and the blood of the martyrs.

All Saints Day

All saints day is a time for us to remember Christians who have died, especially in the past year. This is a time for mourning, and can be very emotional. During the service we call out the names of everyone who has died in the last year. This is also a time for hope as we remember that the church is not only made up of those who are alive on earth, but those who have gone to be with Christ. We remember that God is the God of the living, and take comfort in the promise of the resurrection. The liturgical color for this day is white. 

Christ the King Sunday

This is a relativity new holiday in the Christian year. It was instituted in 1925 as a response nationalism. (specifically as a challenge to fascism in Italy). This holiday celebrates the Kingship of Christ over the entire world and reminds us that our loyalties are to Christ above all else and that Christians all over the world are our brothers and sisters.  Christ the King is the last Sunday in the liturgical year. The Sunday following this is the first Sunday of Advent. The color for this day is white.

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