Ordinary Time . .

Hmmm . . . A question for the experts. Sunday, of course, was the Baptism of the Lord. It was mentioned that it marked the end of the Christmas season. But next Sunday is designated the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time. Which would seem that the Baptism of the Lord is, in fact, the First Sunday of Ordinary Time (and not the end of Christmas, but the beginning of ordinal-ness). Or am I missing something? Thanks in advance! :christmastree1:

According to the notation in my Liturgy of the Hours:

“The feast of the Baptism of the Lord takes the place of the First Sunday in Ordinary Time.”

The same thing happens at the end of the year when the feast of Christ the King will take the place of the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time on November 22, but we will still celebrate Ordinary Time until the evening of November 28.

Technically, Ordinary Time begins on Monday; and there is no “first Sunday of OT”

The Baptism “takes the place of” the 1st Sunday, but it’s actually considered the end of the Christmas season rather than the beginning of Ordinary Time. It’s the opposite of the feast of Christ the King which is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time, in contrast to “taking the place of…”.

There are actually rubrics printed in the Roman Missal that explain this.

Go to this link
see #44

Yes, the feast of the Baptism replaces the First Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Baptism is the last day of the Christmas Season, not the first day of Ordinary Time.

The Sundays in Ordinary Time are tied to the ordinal number of the week, not the actual number of the Sunday itself. Because Monday January 12th is the first week in Ordinary Time, the preceding Sunday would have been the First Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Second Sunday is such because it begins the Second Week in Ordinary Time.

While the Baptism of the Lord replaces the First Sunday of Ordinary Time, I have heard it referred to as “Another Epiphany”. (In fact, the Orthodox commemorate the Lord’s baptism as part of their Epiphany.)

I suspect the reason the Baptism of the Lord was placed where it is because it has characteristics of the Christmas season as well as those of Ordinary Time.

In any case, the Christmas decorations where still there in my parish. :stuck_out_tongue:

Exactly. A more precise way of expressing the second Sunday of OT would be to say “Sunday of the Second Week of Ordinary Time”. But that becomes a bit long-winded.

As far as I can tell the Baptism of the Lord was traditionally celebrated on Jan. 13, just as the Epiphany was celebrated on Jan. 6th. Did the transfers to Sunday have “messed” up the Ordinary period, or ordinal-ness as you call it? I don’t have records of which came first.

You mean like “Second Sunday of Easter” instead of the “First Sunday after Easter” or “Sunday within the Octave of Easter”? I know it’s not quite the same but close in the meaning maybe?

I get it!! (It’s not exactly logical, but I get it. Thank you.)

Not traditionally. As with the Eastern Church, there was traditionally no separate feast for the Baptism of Our Lord, as it was considered part of the Epiphany. In 1955, the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord was introduced on 13 January, the former octave day of the Epiphany. In 1970, it was moved to the Sunday after the Epiphany. So the feast is a very modern one.

This is only tangentially related, but does anyone know why the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated when it is?

Because we baptize infants, and because it’s “the end of the Christmas season,” it feels like it’s there because he was baptized shortly after his birth.

But obviously he wasn’t baptized until like 30 years later. So why that date? Does it relate time-wise to the events leading up to Easter instead?

In the EF, this past Sunday was the Feast of the Holy Family and next Sunday is the Second Sunday after Epiphany. :wink:

This part of the liturgical calendar recapitulates Jesus’ life. The life of Jesus before his public ministry is reflected in condensed form from Advent through his baptism.

*]Israel’s longing for the messiah is reflected in the anticipation of Advent.
*]The arrival of the messiah is celebrated at Christmas.
*]The hidden family life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are celebrated at the Feast of the Holy Family.
*]Mary’s motherhood is celebrated at the Feast of Mary Mother of God.
*]The fact that Jesus came as a light to all nations and not just the Jewish people is celebrated at Epiphany.
*]The start of Jesus’ public ministry is celebrated at his Baptism. Jesus’ public ministry started when he was Baptized in the Jordan.
His first 30 years are condensed into those few weeks. Ordinary time goes on from there to speak of Jesus during his public ministry.


Right. There is no Ordinary time in the EF calendar. OT Sundays replaced all the pre-Lent Sundays plus all the Sundays after the Epiphany and Pentecost, 33 or 34 of them, which is the majority of the year.

Yes Ordinary Time begins the day after the Lord’s Baptism. However in the Philippines with special permission from the Holy See the 2nd Sunday of OT is the feat of the Sto Niño where we reflect on the mystery of Childhood and commemorates how the image came to our country to make us Catholic. Therefore Filipinos technically do not have 1st and 2nd Sunday in OT as two feast replace it

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.