Slip Into the “Green Wood” of Ordinary Time

In The Once and Future King, a novel about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, T.H. White remarks how the peasants preferred weekday Masses to Mass on Sunday. They could come in ordinary clothes and the Masses were shorter. There is something to be said for Low Masses and for Ordinary Time, which we have now entered again after celebrating Pentecost.
Liturgical experts are eager to tell us that Ordinary Time does not mean “ordinary” in the layman’s sense of the word; instead it refers to the Latin word “Ordo,” from which we get the word order. It is a season in which the liturgical weeks are numbered, as in Ordinal Numbers that tell the rank of something. Be that as it may, during Ordinary Time we climb down from the dramatic heights of the Easter Season to a calmer and less intense time liturgically.

The color of the season is green, as in growth and renewal, an apt color as we progress from spring to summer. The scripture readings during Ordinary Time follow the life of Christ in a somewhat sequential fashion with readings from Mathew, Mark or Luke.

It may be called Ordinary Time, but it is a season for family reunions and vacations, for telling children and grandchildren stories about Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest and King Arthur in Camelot. It’s a less formal season when we can slip into the “green wood” and soak in God’s beautiful creation.

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