Liturgical Year


During the Reformation in the 16th century music in the church took a new direction. John Calvin's Genevan Psalter has been sung by the church ever since.

New Testament

"Applying the Liturgical Calendar causes the people of God to draw nearer to Him, in a type of unity that can be done in no other way." (Dick Schuler) 


God uses these means to help us focus our attention on Him rather than on the cares and worries of the world, which can so easily draw us away from Him. 


Moreover, the lectionary and Liturgical Calendar work together in order to achieve this effect.


Christ is the center of our Worship

Paul says in Colossians 2:16-17 that, however we organize our lives, Christ must be at the center; that all things point to Him; that He is the substance (not the lectionary or calendar).

We use these tools to see through them, to Him. They act as lenses to bring our narrow-minded vision into clearer focus. We are narrow-minded because of our fallen nature. We need tools such as the Scripture and scriptural principles to act as our lenses. It is nearly impossible to not use some lens. We may either choose those that work or those that don't. But we look through them in order to see what we must see. The lens is not the substance of our study, Christ is. So we must choose our lenses carefully and with wisdom. Then we must use them properly.

Using the same calendar

Most Christians will say: "But I already read the Bible everyday. Why should I follow the church's calendar? I should be able to read from the Bible what I want, when I want." That is true; "It is better to do that, than not read the Bible at all." 
However, when the church as a whole is reading the same passages of Scripture at the same time, there is an effect on the community of saints that is more corporate, more unifying, than our individualistic approach. We are being fed and nourished together even though we may live miles apart or may not even have ever met a particular brother. Yet our thoughts are directed by the church for the common good of the saints.

On a practical note, the Liturgical Calendar provides common ground for theological discussion among believers. If you don't have a clear understanding of the day's text, you can go to a more learned brother and ask him for his help. The reading would be fresh in his mind and allow for a more fruitful answer to your questions. When the whole church is reading together, especially with a Liturgical Calendar that is seasonal rather than continuous and is repeated year after year, the whole church begins to think and act according to the season. The repetition of the stories centering on the life of Christ begin to direct one's actions in such a way that Christ naturally becomes the center of their thinking.

Calendars in our life

A Liturgical Calendar is a natural outworking of a good seasonal lectionary. We all follow some kind of order to our calendar. It may be the baseball-football-basketball calendar; it may be the school calendar in which one lives for spring break and summer vacation; it may be a civic calendar in which one looks forward to New Year's Day, Canada Day, the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and any other civic holiday. These are not bad in themselves, but they don't point us to Christ the substance. If we don't have a Liturgical Calendar, we will substitute it with something else. And the "something else" will become the lens that focuses our lives. Granted, like the Pharisees, we can study these things for their own sake, and lose sight of the fact that they exist to point us to Christ. But our sinful attitudes don't make those helpful things bad. The problems are not with the lectionary or the calendar, but with the way we use them. We can also abuse them by adding things which don't direct or focus our eyes on Christ.