I did not grow up in a liturgical church and to be honest, when I first read about it 40 years ago, I found little significance in a calendar that was totally out of synch with the seasons of the Southern hemisphere. It was my first Easter in the Northern hemisphere, with spring bursting out around me, and the promise of resurrection in the air that taught me to appreciate it. I love the way that it connects the human story to the story of God and find that even for my Southern hemisphere friends, it has growing significance that roots our faith in the events of Jesus’ life and encourage all Christians to explore the significance of the rhythm it provides for our lives.
Paul Neely of Global Christian Worship provides an amazing and comprehensive description of the Liturgical Calendar and how to use it in Using the Church Calendar to Celebrate the Whole Story of God.
Recommended by Christine Sine
- The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister. This was one of the first books I read after I became interested in the liturgical calendar. It gave me a very good overview of what it was all about.
- To Dance With God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration by Gertrud Mueller Nelson. I loved this book particularly because of its family orientation which helped me to understand that the liturgical calendar is not just for church but for everyone.
- The Circle of Seasons by Kimberlee Conway Ireton. A very engaging introduction to the church year.
- Seasons of Celebration by Thomas Merton. A classic that offers readers a series of original and masterful meditations on the church year.
- Seasons of Prayer by Donna Fletcher Crow. A fresh approach to the church year that begins with Lent not Advent. This delightful book weaves classic prayers like the Lord’s prayer into the events of the Christian year
- Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman. Another great overview of the church year.
- Celebrating Biblical Feasts: In Your Home or Church by Martha Zimmerman. This book focuses particularly on the feasts of the church year. I love the focus on family celebrations .
- Feasting for Festivals: Customs and Recipes to Celebrate the Christian Year by Jan Wilson. A wonderful collection of recipes and craft ideas to help us celebrate the seasons.
Recommended by Others
- Journey into the Heart of God: Living the Liturgical Year by Philip H. Pfatteicher. Journey into the Heart of God is an interesting and helpful mixture of history, theology, and devotional thoughts that will become a partner with you as you walk through the liturgical year. Showcasing hymns, liturgical texts, and customs this an excellent resource for individuals and communities looking for a deeper understanding of all the seasons of the liturgical calendar.
- Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross. A starting point for those Christians in a non liturgical setting but want a pretty substantial guide that leans toward the devotional bent. Many gems abound for those more knowledgeable about the liturgical year. It will surely help you pursue God in a deeper way.
- A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together by Jerusalem Jackson Greer
- Things Seen and Unseen by Nora Gallagher
- Ancient-Future Time by Robert Webber. An excellent resource for those who wish to be rooted in the ancient traditions of our faith but find themselves contextualizing them for the modern world. Particularly strong in guiding individuals and communities in using the yearly liturgical cycle for discipleship.
- Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren
And if you are looking for a way to share this with kids here is a great video from Godly Play to watch and share with your kids;
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Photo above of Liturgical Calendar by Third Church, used with permission.