The Church Year starts 4 Sundays before Christmas and ends on the Saturday before the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
- Advent – Purple/Sarum Blue -Weeks of 4 Sundays before Christmas.
- Christmas – White/Gold – 25th December for 12 Days
- Epiphany – Green – 6th January till Ash Wednesday
- Lent- Purple – 6 weeks to Easter
- Good Friday – Black/Red – Friday before Easter
- Easter – White/Gold – 40 days to Ascension
- Ascension – White/Gold – 10 days to Pentecost
- Pentecost – Red – Week to Trinity Sunday
- Ordinary Time – Green – The Balance of the Year
Some have likened this to the curriculum, in that it provides a point for our attention and means that we cover the whole story with the lows and the highs, not just the bits we like. It can’t be Lent all year, just like it can’t be summer all year.
There are variations between various Churches, for example the Orthodox date for Easter follows the Jewish Tradition for dating Passover, where we follow the western convention which means that we will often celebrate Easter of different sundays, usually within a week of two. The western liturgical year hangs on two dates. The First is Christmas, which is always the 25th of December, and depending on the day of the week, will determine the date for Advent Sunday which is four Sundays before Christmas day. The Second Date is the date of easter which is the Sunday of or following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the Full Moon following 21st March. This means that Easter will fall between the 22nd of March and the 22nd of April in a given year. Ash Wednesday, Lent, Ascension, Pentecost all derive their date based in the date of Easter.