Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)/The Calendar of the Church Year

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The Calendar
of the Church Year

 

The Church Year consists of two cycles of feasts and holy days: one is dependent upon the movable date of the Sunday of the Resurrection or Easter Day; the other, upon the fixed date of December 25, the Feast of our Lord’s Nativity or Christmas Day.

Easter Day is always the first Sunday after the full moon that falls on or after March 21. It cannot occur before March 22 or after April 25.

The sequence of all Sundays of the Church Year depends upon the date of Easter Day. But the Sundays of Advent are always the four Sundays before Christmas Day, whether it occurs on a Sunday or a weekday. The date of Easter also determines the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, and the feast of the Ascension on a Thursday forty days after Easter Day.

1. Principal Feasts

  • Easter Day
  • Ascension Day
  • The Day of Pentecost
  • Trinity Sunday
  • All Saints’ Day, November 1
  • Christmas Day, December 25
  • The Epiphany, January 6


These feasts take precedence of any other day or observance. All Saints’ Day may always be observed on the Sunday following November 1, in addition to its observance on the fixed date.

2. Sundays

All Sundays of the year are feasts of our Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to the dated days listed above, only the following feasts, appointed on fixed days, take precedence of a Sunday:

  • The Holy Name
  • The Presentation
  • The Transfiguration

The feast of the Dedication of a Church, and the feast of its patron or title, may be observed on, or be transferred to, a Sunday, except in the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter.

All other Feasts of our Lord, and all other Major Feasts appointed on fixed days in the Calendar, when they occur on a Sunday, are normally transferred to the first convenient open day within the week. When desired, however, the Collect, Preface, and one or more of the Lessons appointed for the Feast may be substituted for those of the Sunday, but not from the Last Sunday after Pentecost through the First Sunday after the Epiphany, or from the Last Sunday after the Epiphany through Trinity Sunday.

With the express permission of the bishop, and for urgent and sufficient reason, some other special occasion may be observed on a Sunday.

3. Holy Days

The following Holy Days are regularly observed throughout the year. Unless otherwise ordered in the preceding rules concerning Sundays, they have precedence over all other days of commemoration or of special observance:

Other Feasts of our Lord

  • The Holy Name
  • The Presentation
  • The Annunciation
  • The Visitation
  • Saint John the Baptist
  • The Transfiguration
  • Holy Cross Day

Other Major Feasts

  • All feasts of Apostles
  • All feasts of Evangelists
  • Saint Stephen
  • The Holy Innocents
  • Saint Joseph
  • Saint Mary Magdalene
  • Saint Mary the Virgin
  • Saint Michael and All Angels
  • Saint James of Jerusalem
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving Day


Fasts

  • Ash Wednesday
  • Good Friday


Feasts appointed on fixed days in the Calendar are not observed on the days of Holy Week or of Easter Week. Major Feasts falling in these weeks are transferred to the week following the Second Sunday of Easter, in the order of their occurrence.

Feasts appointed on fixed days in the Calendar do not take precedence of Ash Wednesday.

Feasts of our Lord and other Major Feasts appointed on fixed days, which fall upon or are transferred to a weekday, may be observed on any open day within the week. This provision does not apply to Christmas Day, the Epiphany, and All Saints’ Day.

4. Days of Special Devotion

The following days are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial:

Ash Wednesday and the other weekdays of Lent and of Holy Week, except the feast of the Annunciation.

Good Friday and all other Fridays of the year, in commemoration of the Lord’s crucifixion, except for Fridays in the Christmas and Easter seasons, and any Feasts of our Lord which occur on a Friday.

5. Days of Optional Observance

Subject to the rules of precedence governing Principal Feasts, Sundays, and Holy Days, the following may be observed with the Collects, Psalms, and Lessons duly authorized by this Church:

  • Commemorations listed in the Calendar
  • Other Commemorations, using the Common of Saints
  • The Ember Days, traditionally observed on the Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays after the First Sunday in Lent, the Day of Pentecost, Holy Cross Day, and December 13
  • The Rogation Days, traditionally observed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day
  • Various Occasions

Provided, that there is no celebration of the Eucharist for any such occasion on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday; and provided further, that none of the Propers appointed for Various Occasions is used as a substitute for, or as an addition to, the Proper appointed for the Principal Feasts.

January

1 A The Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ
2 b
3 c
4 d
5 e
6 f The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ
7 g
8 A [Harriet Bedell, Deaconess and Missionary, 1969]
9 b Julia Chester Emery, Missionary, 1922
10 c William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1645
11 d
12 e Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
13 f Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, 367
14 g
15 A
16 b
17 c Antony, Abbot in Egypt, 356
18 d The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle
19 e Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
20 f Fabian, Bishop and Martyr of Rome, 250
21 g Agnes, Martyr at Rome, 304
22 A Vincent, Deacon of Saragossa, and Martyr, 304
23 b Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, 1893
24 c Ordination of Florence Li Tim-Oi, First Woman Priest in the Anglican Communion, 1944
25 d The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle
26 e Timothy and Titus, Companions of Saint Paul
27 f John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 407
28 g Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Friar, 1274
29 A
30 b
31 c

February

1 d Brigid (Bride), 523
2 e The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple
3 f Anskar, Archbishop of Hamburg, Missionary to Denmark and Sweden, 865
4 g Cornelius the Centurion
5 A The Martyrs of Japan, 1597
6 b
7 c
8 d
9 e
10 f
11 g
12 A
13 b Absalom Jones, Priest, 1818
14 c Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop, Missionaries to the Slavs, 869, 885
15 d Thomas Bray, Priest and Missionary, 1730
16 e
17 f Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, and Martyr, 1977
18 g Martin Luther, 1546
19 A
20 b
21 c
22 d
23 e Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna, 156
24 f Saint Matthias the Apostle
25 g
26 A
27 b George Herbert, Priest, 1633
28 c [Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, Educator, 1964]
29
March
1 d David, Bishop of Menevia, Wales, c. 544
2 e Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, 672
3 f John and Charles Wesley, Priests, 1791, 1788
4 g
5 A
6 b
7 c Perpetua and her Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 202
8 d
9 e Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, c. 394
10 f
11 g
12 A Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 604
13 b [James Theodore Holly, Bishop of Haiti, and of the Dominican Republic, 1911]
14 c
15 d
16 e
17 f Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461
18 g Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, 386
19 A Saint Joseph
20 b Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 687
21 c Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1711 14   
14 22 d James De Koven, Priest, 1879
3 23 e Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop and Missionary of Armenia, c. 332
24 f [Óscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, and the martyrs of San Salvador, 1980] 
11 25 g The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary
26 A
19 27 b Charles Henry Brent, Bishop of the Philippines, and of Western New York, 1929   
8 28 c
29 d John Keble, Priest, 1866
16 30 e
5 31 f John Donne, Priest, 1631

April

1 g Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, 1872
13 2 A James Lloyd Breck, Priest, 1876
2 3 b Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253
4 c Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader, 1968
10 5 d
6 e
18 7 f [Tikhon, Patriarch of Russia, Confessor and Ecumenist, 1925]
7 8 g William Augustus Muhlenberg, Priest, 1877
9 A Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pastor and Theologian, 1945
15 10 b William Law, Priest, 1761
4 11 c George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand, and of Lichfield, 1878
12 d
12 13 e
14 f
15 g
9 16 A
17 17 b
6 18 c
19 d Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr, 1012
20 e
21 f Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109
22 g
23 A
24 b
25 c Saint Mark the Evangelist
26 d
27 e
28 f
29 g Catherine of Siena, 1380
30 A

May

1 b Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles
2 c Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, 373
3 d
4 e Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
5 f
6 g
7 A
8 b Dame Julian of Norwich, c. 1417
9 c Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, 389
10 d
11 e
12 f
13 g
14 A
15 b
16 c
17 d
18 e
19 f Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
20 g Alcuin, Deacon, and Abbot of Tours, 804
21 A
22 b
23 c
24 d Jackson Kemper, First Missionary Bishop in the United States,1870
25 e Bede, the Venerable, Priest, and Monk of Jarrow, 735
26 f Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
27 g
28 A
29 b
30 c
31 d The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The First Book of Common Prayer, 1549, is appropriately observed on a weekday following the Day of Pentecost.

June

1 e Justin, Martyr at Rome, c. 167
2 f The Martyrs of Lyons, 177
3 g The Martyrs of Uganda, 1886
4 A
5 b Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz, Missionary to Germany, and Martyr, 754
6 c
7 d
8 e
9 f Columba, Abbot of Iona, 597
10 g Ephrem of Edessa, Syria, Deacon, 373
11 A Saint Barnabas the Apostle
12 b Emmegahbowh, Priest and Missionary, 1902
13 c
14 d Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, 379
15 e Evelyn Underhill, 1941
16 f Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, 1752
17 g
18 A Bernard Mizeki, Catechist and Martyr in Rhodesia, 1896
19 b
20 c
21 d
22 e Alban, First Martyr of Britain, c. 304
23 f
24 g The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
25 A
26 b
27 c
28 d Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, c. 202
29 e Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles
30 f

July

1 g
2 A
3 b
4 c Independence Day
5 d
6 e
7 f
8 g
9 A
10 b
11 c Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Casino, c. 540
12 d
13 e
14 f
15 g
16 A
17 b William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836
18 c
19 d Macrina, Monastic and Teacher, 379
20 e Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Ross Tubman, Liberators and Prophets
21 f
22 g Saint Mary Magdalene
23 A
24 b Thomas a Kempis, Priest, 1471
25 c Saint James the Apostle
26 d The Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
27 e William Reed Huntington, Priest, 1909
28 f
29 g Mary and Martha of Bethany
30 A William Wilberforce, 1833
31 b Ignatius of Loyola, Priest, Monastic, 1556

August

1 c Joseph of Arimathaea
2 d
3 e
f
5 g
6 A The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ
7 b John Mason Neale, Priest, 1866
8 c Dominic, Priest and Friar, 1221
9 d
10 e Laurence, Deacon, and Martyr at Rome, 258
11 f Clare, Abbess at Assisi, 1253
12 g Florence Nightingale, Nurse, Social Reformer, 1910
13 A Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore, 1667
14 b Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Seminarian and Witness for Civil Rights, 1965
15 c Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ
16 d
17 e
18 f William Porcher DuBose, Priest, 1918
19 g
20 A Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153
21 b
22 c
23 d
24 e Saint Bartholomew the Apostle
25 f Louis, King of France, 1270
26 g
27 A Thomas Gallaudet, 1902 with  Henry Winter Syle, 1890
28 b Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, 430
29 c
30 d
31 e Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 651
September
1 f David Pendleton Oakerhater, Deacon and Missionary, 1931
2 g The Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942
3 A
4 b Paul Jones, 1941
5 c
6 d
7 e
8 f
9 g Constance, Nun, and her Companions, 1878
10 A Alexander Crummell, 1898
11 b
12 c John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York, 1830
13 d Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr of Carthage, 258
14 e Holy Cross Day
15 f
16 g Ninian, Bishop in Galloway, c. 430
17 A Hildegard, 1179
18 b Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, 1882
19 c Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
20 d John Coleridge Patteson, Bishop of Melanesia, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871
21 e Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
22 f Philander Chase, Bishop of Ohio, and of Illinois, 1852
23 g
24 A
25 b Sergius, Abbot of Holy Trinity, Moscow, 1392
26 c Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, 1626
27 d
28 e
29 f Saint Michael and All Angels
30 g Jerome, Priest, and Monk of Bethlehem, 420
October
1 A Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, c. 530
2 b
3 c
4 d Francis of Assisi, Friar, 1226
5 e
6 f William Tyndale, Priest, 1536
7 g
8 A
9 b Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, 1253
10 c [Vida Dutton Scudder, Educator and Witness for Peace, 1954]
11 d Philip, Deacon and Evangelist
12 e
13 f
14 g Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop of Shanghai, 1906
15 A Teresa of Avila, Nun, 1582
16 b Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, Bishops, 1555 and Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1556
17 c Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, and Martyr, c. 115
18 d Saint Luke the Evangelist
19 e Henry Martyn, Priest, and Missionary to India and Persia, 1812
20 f
21 g
22 A
23 b Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, c. 62
24 c
25 d
26 e Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, 899
27 f
28 g Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles
29 A James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1885
30 b
31 c

November

1 d All Saints
2 e Commemoration of All Faithful Departed
3 f Richard Hooker, Priest, 1600
4 g
5 A
6 b William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1944
7 c Willibrord, Archbishop of Utrecht, Missionary to Frisia, 739
8 d
9 e
10 f Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
11 g Martin, Bishop of Tours, 397
12 A Charles Simeon, Priest, 1836
13 b
14 c Consecration of Samuel Seabury, First American Bishop, 1784
15 d
16 e Margaret, Queen of Scotland, 1093
17 f Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200
18 g Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
19 A Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, 1231
20 b Edmund, King of East Anglia, 870
21 c
22 d Clive Staples Lewis, Apologist and Spiritual Writer, 1963
23 e Clement, Bishop of Rome, c. 100
24 f
25 g James Otis Sargent Huntington, Priest and Monk, 1935
26 A
27 b
28 c Kamehameha and Emma, King and Queen of Hawaii, 1864, 1885
29 d
30 e Saint Andrew the Apostle

December

1 f Nicholas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637
2 g Channing Moore Williams, Missionary Bishop in China and Japan, 1910
3 A
4 b John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760
5 c Clement of Alexandria, Priest, c. 210
6 d Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c. 342
7 e Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, 397
8 f
9 g
10 A
11 b
12 c
13 d
14 e
15 f
16 g
17 A
18 b
19 c
20 d
21 e Saint Thomas the Apostle
22 f
23 g
24 A
25 b The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
26 c Saint Stephen, Deacon and Martyr
27 d Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist
28 e The Holy Innocents
29 f Thomas Becket, 1170
30 g [Frances Joseph Gaudet, Educator and Prison Reformer, 1934]
31 A

The Titles of the Seasons
Sundays and Major Holy Days
observed in this Church throughout the Year

Advent Season

  • The First Sunday of Advent
  • The Second Sunday of Advent
  • The Third Sunday of Advent
  • The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Christmas Season

  • The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Christmas Day, December 25
  • The First Sunday after Christmas Day
  • The Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, January 1
  • The Second Sunday after Christmas Day

Epiphany Season

  • The Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, January 6
  • The First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ
  • The Second Sunday through the Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany
  • The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

Lenten Season

  • The First Day of Lent, or Ash Wednesday
  • The First Sunday in Lent
  • The Second Sunday in Lent
  • The Third Sunday in Lent
  • The Fourth Sunday in Lent
  • The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Holy Week

  • The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
  • Monday in Holy Week
  • Tuesday in Holy Week
  • Wednesday in Holy Week
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday

Easter Season

  • Easter Eve
  • The Sunday of the Resurrection, or Easter Day
  • Monday in Easter Week
  • Tuesday in Easter Week
  • Wednesday in Easter Week
  • Thursday in Easter Week
  • Friday in Easter Week
  • Saturday in Easter Week
  • The Second Sunday of Easter
  • The Third Sunday of Easter
  • The Fourth Sunday of Easter
  • The Fifth Sunday of Easter
  • The Sixth Sunday of Easter
  • Ascension Day
  • The Seventh Sunday of Easter: The Sunday after Ascension Day
  • The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday

The Season After Pentecost

  • The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday
  • The Second Sunday through the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
  • The Last Sunday after Pentecost

Holy Days

  • Saint Andrew the Apostle, November 30
  • Saint Thomas the Apostle, December 21
  • Saint Stephen, Deacon and Martyr, December 26
  • Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, December 27
  • The Holy Innocents, December 28
  • The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle, January 18
  • The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle, January 25
  • The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple, also called the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, February 2
  • Saint Matthias the Apostle, February 24
  • Saint Joseph, March 19
  • The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25
  • Saint Mark the Evangelist, April 25
  • Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles, May 1
  • The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, May 31
  • Saint Barnabas the Apostle, June 11
  • The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, June 24
  • Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles, June 29
  • Saint Mary Magdalene, July 22
  • Saint James the Apostle, July 25
  • The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 6
  • Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, August 15
  • Saint Bartholomew the Apostle, August 24
  • Holy Cross Day, September 14
  • Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, September 21
  • Saint Michael and All Angels, September 29
  • Saint Luke the Evangelist, October 18
  • Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, October 23
  • Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles, October 28
  • All Saints’ Day, November 1

National Days

  • Independence Day, July 4
  • Thanksgiving Day