EDITED: Feast of the Baptism of Jesus 1st Sunday Ordinary Time ends Christmas season?


Hey everyone. I am confused. In the missalettes it says that this coming Sunday is the second Sunday in ordinary time but our priest said this past Sunday that it was still the Christmas season. So how can the past Sunday be the Christmas Season and yet also the first Sunday in Ordinary Time? Thanks for your answers.


It;s not the First Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The first week of Ordinary Time begins on the Monday.

What is called for short:the secind Sunday of Ordinary Time is in fact the first Sunday that actually occurs in Ordinary Time, more properly called Sunday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time. And so on for all the subsequent Sundays in OT.


The liturgical year encompasses the 33 years of the time Jesus spent with us on this Earth.
I hope you realize that it is a bit compressed even in respecting the particular time that each event is commemorized.
Hope this helps!


This is the best way to look at it. Sunday is the first day of the week, so it is when things typically “switch over”. So Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time is followed by Sunday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time. There is no First Sunday as the first week in Ordinary Time is abbreviated by beginning on Monday.

So the First week in Ordinary Time starts on Monday and is only six days.


It is my understanding that there is a First Sunday in Ordinary Time, but its celebration is suppressed because the Feast of the Baptism outranks it. Note that in the Liturgy of the Hours there is a Prayer for the First Sunday which is used in other days of the First Week. Likewise there is a Thirty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time which is always suppressed in favor of the Solemnity of Christ the King. Other Sundays in Ordinary Time are suppressed when they coincide with a Feast or Solemnity of higher rank.

Note also that the Seventh Sunday is suppressed this year in favor of Pentecost, the Eighth for The Holy Trinity, and the Ninth for the Body and Blood of Christ. Since there are only fifty-two Sundays this year the Sixth week is omitted entirely.


This was my understanding. It is not uncommon for Sundays to have more than one title,… feast… thing?



Joe Kelley is correct. The Christmas season ended with Vespers of Saturday, January 12 which began the Baptism of the Lord. Our parish chose to leave Christmas decorations up until Monday after Mass, which may have simply been a decision of convenience. As I understand it, in the 1962 calendar, Ordinary time was known as Time after Epiphany and Time after Pentecost, and the Christmas season officially ended with Epiphany.

I can’t really think of any Christmas carols that would apply to Baptism of the Lord, because it was an adult Jesus beginning His public ministry.


Historically, before to Vatican II (and before 1955 when the Baptism was added), January 6 was Epiphany on any day of the week and the Octave of the Epiphany was celebrated on January 13, and the Season after Epiphany included January 13 (seven days). So Ordinary time started the day after the Octave on January 14.

The Byzantine Catholic Church does it this way still, except the term is Sunday after Pentecost, rather than Ordinary Time, and Theophany is the name rather than Epiphany.


I have never included any Christmas music. I note that some here have added like one carol to the Mass, though.


I am still confused. So is the Sunday of the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord sort of a double Sunday which is the end of the Christmas season but also the first Sunday in Ordinary Time? Or is it that we don’t really have a first Sunday in Ordinary Time but the next Sunday is called the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time because they aren’t counting Sundays but weeks?


The end of the Christmas season was Evening Prayer I, Saturday, January 12. January 13 was the first Sunday in Ordinary Time, which is never celebrated as such, because the Baptism feast trumps it.


Two paragraphs from the General Norms of the Liturgical Year document may clear things up:

  1. The Christmas season runs from evening prayer I of Christmas until the Sunday after Epiphany or after 6 January, inclusive.

  2. 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.

Source: scborromeo.org/litcal.htm

In other words, this year, the Christmas season ended at midnight between Jan 13 and 14. And, there is no first Sunday of ordinary time since “ordinary time” begins on Monday–this year, on the 14th.


Do you mind my asking why you say that? I’ve only ever heard that the Baptism of the Lord is still part of the Christmas season. I’m open to correction if I’m wrong. My liturgical calendar says “Last Day of Christmas Time” on Sunday, January 13th for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. :shrug:

I think this is one of those cases where those of us who have Type A personalities get hung up on details that the Type B personality of the Church doesn’t stress out about (like how we bend over backward trying to make sure that Lent is exactly 40 days when it really isn’t). The first week of Ordinary Time isn’t a full week, but we desparately want it to be more neat and tidy. :slight_smile: (I’m not pointing the finger at anyone but myself here. :o I’ve had all these internal conversations with myself for a long time now.)


Oh, well with the quote from the General Norms I guess I stand corrected. It sure seemed like Baptism was a Sunday in Ordinary Time from reading my LOTH volume. Thanks for clearing it up.

And I’m not sure that I have a Type A personality except here on the net…


I note that in recent times the Epiphany is often described as embracing three manifestations of Jesus - to the Wise Men, in the Baptism by John, and by the miracle of the wine at Cana. Thus the Feast of the Baptism provides a completion to the Solemnity of the Epiphany.


The lectionary used in my parish church very clearly states in the ‘Ordinary Time’ section that ‘The first Sunday in Ordinary Time is the Baptism of the Lord.’

However, the readings for the Baptism come at the end of the section headed ‘Christmas.’

My ‘Daily Roman Missal’ has got ‘Baptism of the Lord’ listed at the beginning of the section ‘Ordinary Time’ (published by Midwest Theological Forum, USA, 2010, p. xxxvi), and not in the Christmas season.

We’re going round and round about this here in Poland (where we use that English-language lectionary from the US, published by USCCB, and where Epiphany is always on the 6th, no matter what day of the week, and is a holy day of obligation) because in this country, they extend the Christmas season right up until February 2, keeping all Christmas decorations up and singing Christmas carols at every Mass until the Presentation (or ad nauseum, which usually comes first). So even though they are announcing that it’s Ordinary Time and reading OT readings and using OT propers, they keep singing and decorating the church as though it’s Christmas - in some years until as few as 4 days before Ash Wednesday. The only explanation I get about this - from a bishop, a priest and an informed church organist - is that they really like Christmas carols and have a lot of them, so they keep singing them (and I guess that’s why they keep the decorations up: because they really like it. Go figure.).

Joe Kelly’s explanation makes the most sense to me. You can’t have a ‘second’ unless you have a ‘first,’ just as you can’t have a son unless you have a father. It doesn’t make sense to me - as someone proposed elsewhere - that the second Sunday in OT is really ‘the Sunday in the Second week of OT’ because it still leaves you without a Sunday in the first week of OT, and what kind of week has no Sunday in it?

It seems that logically it’s got to be the First Sunday in Ordinary Time which is trumped by the Baptism of the Lord.


Yesterday was the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time. Our priest mentioned during his homily that there wasn’t a 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time, but wasn’t clear as to why.

I noticed that we’re in the 1st Week of Ordinary Time now, and next Sunday is again listed as the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time.

So there are two 2nd Sundays?



Yesterday was not the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. It was the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is the last day of Christmas.

The reason there is no first Sunday in Ordinary Time is that yesterday was still a part of the Christmas season.


We’ll, no, yesterday was not the 2nd Sunday in OT; that is next week.

And yes, there is a 1st Sunday in OT…it was yesterday.

However it is not formally called the first Sunday in OT, because it is also marks the close of the Christmas season.

The reason, technically it is the 1st, is because the liturgical week starts, and not ends, on Sunday.

Regardless, nothing to lose sleep over!


Actually, there is not a* definitive* “First Sunday in Ordinary Time.” It always takes a backseat to the last Sunday in the Christmas Season.

If one looks into the Liturgy of the Hours, Ordinary Time begins with the first Monday in Ordinary Time.

What the Church does is count the last Sunday in the Christmas Season as the first Sunday in Ordinary Time. It is both things, Christmas and Ordinary Time.

There is never a day on the Church’s calendar called the “First Sunday in Ordinary Time.” Why? Because the Christmas Season ends with a Sunday Evening II prayer, and regardless of the season a celebration of the Lord’s Day always takes precedence.

(This also means that Night Prayer on Sunday comes from the Ordinary Time volume whereas the prayer for the rest of the previous day comes from the Advent-Christmas volume.)

This year, 2014, the last Sunday of Christmas (as it usually is) ended with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. When Evening Prayer II is said on this date, Christmas ends and Ordinary Time begins.

Today is the first Monday in Ordinary Time. This Sunday marks the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.