Sunday, January 11, 2015

Back to Ordinary Time

Time for the breviary shuffle, for those who use a four-volume edition.  Put away volume I, grab volume III off the shelf for a six-week sojourn of ordinary time, before switching back to volume II for Lent thru Pentecost.

First Monday in Ordinary Time. One of two Mondays in Ordinary Time with no ordinary Sunday to precede it. Trivia question: when is the other?

I've said it a couple of times, but it bears repeating."Ordinary" in this context does not mean routine, let alone dull or uninteresting. It means that the weeks are ordered, or numbered. With ordinal numbers, get it?

But there's nothing ordinary (in the sense of dull or unimportant) about the breathtaking  poetry in the book of Sirach this week (Office of Readings).  Nor the reading from Pope St.  Clement I, which is a lovely, long petitionary prayer which certainly covers every base. Nor does todays daytime reading (midafternoon) from 1 Peter ever fail to inspire awe: realize that you were delivered not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ's blood beyond all price!

And so it goes. The liturgy fills us with a thousand gifts, all year long. Never "ordinary".


At the same time, I feel a good kind of ordinary (in the "ordinary" sense of the word) whenever I put away the Christmas paraphernalia, put the furniture back where it belongs, and get back down to the business.  The relative quiet and the relatively  slender to-do list clears my mind.  And leaving behind for a while the page flipping and calendar checking of Christmastide does much to fuel the notion that ordinary time in the liturgy is a little less complicated, breathing upon us a goodly simplicity. A needed break in the action until Lent.


  1. Hi Daria,

    I received the Christian Book of Prayers for Christmas and your book! I am confused though. My morning prayer starts with Psalm 5 today, yet in the iBreviary, it has 3 Psalms that I don't have. What are they and where can I find them in my book?

    1. Ibreviary begins wtih the invitatory psalm (95), and then gives three options for other psalms that may be used instead of 95 for the invitatory: those buttons on ibreviary that say "Go to Psalm 34, 67, 100" were these other options. If you scroll past all these, you will see that Morning Prayer began with Psalm 5 just as it does in your Christian Prayer book.

  2. To answer your trivia question - the Monday following Pentecost. I always end up having to look up which week of Ordinary Time we return to on that Monday. :-)

  3. Daria, is there a special set of readings/psalms or office for January 22 which is designated Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children?