Observing the Third Cycle of the Christian Calendar: Love

Do you feel as I do – that this year seems to be flying by? I find it difficult to believe this coming Sunday (May 23rd) is Pentecost Sunday.


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).

Pentecost Sunday is also the beginning of the third cycle in the Christian Calendar – The Cycle of Love.

The Cycle of Love

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

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

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 Cycle of Love

This brief (9 page) booklet provides some basics on the final Cycle in the Christian Calendar year. 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.