Observing the Christian Calendar: The Cycle of Love

The Christian Calendar is made up of three cycles: The Cycle of Light, The Cycle of Life, and the Cycle of Love. Sunday (May 31st), we will enter the third and final Cycle of the calendar year – The Cycle of Love. The Cycle of Love This six-months-long season begins with Pentecost (the 50th and…

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Deborah Haddix

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The Christian Calendar is made up of three cycles: The Cycle of Light, The Cycle of Life, and the Cycle of Love.

Sunday (May 31st), we will enter the third and final Cycle of the calendar year – The Cycle of Love.

The Cycle of Love

This six-months-long season begins with Pentecost (the 50th and final day of Easter) and ends the Sunday prior to Advent. It is a season for concentrating on the outworking of redemption (God through us) and includes Ordinary Time and Pentecost.

Pentecost

Over time, this culmination of the Easter season has come to be celebrated not just for a single day but for eight consecutive days, from Sunday to Sunday. During Pentecost, the outpouring and indwelling of the third Person of the Trinity is celebrated.

Additionally, Pentecost Sunday marks a time for commemoration and celebration of the official birthday of the Christian church which was signaled by the receiving of the Holy Spirit by the early believers (Acts 2:1-4).

Ordinary Time

During the long season of Ordinary Time, the Sundays are simply numbered, and there are no major feasts to celebrate as compared to Christmas or Pascha.

This season represents the days where we do our living — between the celebrations and the feasts — the ordinary days. Particularly, the months of Ordinary Time provide opportunity for us to enter into rhythms of healthy discipleship:

  • gathering for worship and dispersing for witness
  • tending to ourselves and caring for others
  • enjoying our rest and fulfilling our duties
  • witnessing in the world and worshiping in community
  • caring for neighbors and caring for self
  • laboring fruitfully and resting peacefully

Pentecost and Ordinary Time — together, they make up the Cycle and the season of Love.  

In this final Cycle of the year, we live out the extraordinary mysteries of the earlier cycles:

The light of God, incarnate (Cycle of Light)

The life of Christ resurrected (Cycle of Life)

In this season, we live out:

The love of Jesus poured out (Cycle of Love)

Jesus poured Himself out in love and through the Holy Spirit, he pours His love into our hearts today (Romans 5:5).

The Cycles and The Seasons

The Good News (The Gospel) can be summed up in a trinity of declarations that relate to the Christian Calendar Year and its Cycles.

Declaration 1

Jesus is the LIGHT that darkness cannot overcome.

Declaration 2

Jesus is the LIFE that death cannot hold.

Declaration 3

Jesus is the self-sacrificing LOVE that evil cannot fathom.

Divided into three cycles, the great themes of these declarations from the Christian Calendar flow through every season. They saturate the Story of God from beginning to end.


The Cycle of Love

A brand new tool to help in your observance of this final Cycle of the Christian calendar. This brief (9 page) booklet provides some basics on the Cycle. In addition, it lists various ideas for observing the seasons of Ordinary Time and Pentecost, a planning guide, and additional resources.

Click HERE to download your free PDF.

Comments

5 comments

  • It always makes me so happy to hear the phrase “ordinary” time because so much of what I do is just ordinary, and yet God is always at work. He shows up in the regular duties that are the trellis supporting our ordinary lives.

  • I haven’t heard the Christian calendar listed in these words, so this is fascinating to me. Light, life, and love are phenomenal ways to frame our walk through time with Christ!

  • What a great summary of the season between Pentecost and Advent. I had heard of Ordinary Time but never the Cycle of Love, so I found this informative and fascinating! I did not grow up following the Christian calendar in my denomination, but as an adult follow Advent and Lent. I’d like to be more aware of Ordinary Time now.

    I am linking a faith-based plot post from this week, if interested!

  • Thank you for stopping by, Lisa. And I love your imagery, “fram(ing) our walk through time with Christ!”

  • I’m so glad this article was helpful to you, Elena. I did not grow up following the Christian Calendar either. It simply wasn’t part of my denomination’s culture. I’ve been learning so much about it in the last few years since hearing a radio interview on the subject. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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