Ordinary Time

There are 33 or 34 weeks in the yearly liturgical cycle that do not celebrate a specific aspect of the mystery of Christ. They are devoted to the mystery of Christ in its fullness, especially on Sundays. This period is known as Ordinary Time.


Ordinary Time begins on Monday after the Sunday following 6 January and continues until Tuesday before Ash Wednesday inclusive. It begins again on Monday after Pentecost and ends before Evening Prayer I of the First Sunday of Advent.

Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship, General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, n43 44

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the first period of Ordinary Time occurs during the summer months of January and February. In this period between the Baptism of the Lord and the beginning of Lent the readings are about the early life of Jesus and the beginning of his public ministry.

The second period of Ordinary Time runs like a great river through the middle of each year, carrying us through the winter and spring months. During the 33 or 34 weeks of Ordinary Time the Gospel readings lead us to reflect upon the life and ministry of Jesus and their application for our lives and spiritual growth.

The name "Ordinary Time' refers to the numbering of the weeks. It comes from the Latin 'ordinalis' meaning 'counted time'.

Major feast days which occur during Ordinary Time include the Holy Trinity, the Body and Blood of Christ, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saints Peter and Paul, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the patronal feast of Aotearoa New Zealand), All Saints, All Souls, and the Feast of Christ the King which is the final Sunday in Ordinary Time and the last Sunday of the liturgical year.

The liturgical colour worn in Ordinary Time is green, although other colours may be worn on the various feasts.