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  • Writer's pictureRichard Butler

Ordinary Time



Yesterday was the First Sunday after Trinity and we have entered the Church season known as Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time now stretches out ahead of us all the way up to the start of Advent, by which time, of course, the world around us will already be well into Christmas. About half of the Church year is Ordinary Time and it allows us to settle into a routine which becomes so familiar that we can begin to memorise the words of Morning Prayer each day, and on Sundays to follow the story of Jesus’ ministry with his disciples in our Gospel readings. In the church the altars will have green frontals to remind us that we are in Ordinary Time. It is a time just to be and to grow gently as a community of faith. And when they come, the dramas of the great Church festivals such as Christmas and Easter are all the more significant against that routine backdrop of Ordinary Time.


For most of us, that same contrast between lots of ordinary time punctuated by very occasional festivals is a way of describing our individual lives. A life of faith in ordinary time also involves a routine – integrating our effort to live in relationship with God into those routines. For many the beauty of the natural world is the perfect prompt:


How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!

The heavens declare your glory,

the arch of the sky displays your handiwork.

In your love you have given us the power

to behold the beauty of your world in all its splendour.


The sun and the stars, the valleys and the hills,

the rivers and the lakes, all disclose your presence.

The roaring breakers of the sea tell of your awesome might;

the beasts of the field and the birds of the air

proclaim your wondrous will.



In your goodness you have made us able to

hear the music of the world.

The voices of loved ones reveal to us that you

are in our midst.

A divine song sings through all creation.


A traditional Jewish prayer

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