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November 27 marks the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Christian year. Liturgical seasons, especially Advent, are becoming more popular in some traditions that have historically neglected them. Observers weigh in on whether they observe the calendar.

"It serves as a primer on how to cover all the bases in a year. I see it like your doctor saying, 'Here are the things you need to be healthy: eating, diet, exercise, and rest.' We need to have some structure through each part of the year."

"It roots us in ancient Christian tradition while at the same time being relevant to the 21st century. Following the liturgical calendar connects us to the larger body of Christ and deepens our spiritual practices as we remember important aspects of the faith."

"A church's program of preaching and teaching needs to have a 'prophetic' angle with regard to the church, with the leadership discerning which topics and sections of Scripture are most needed at particular times. Close observance of a liturgical pattern does not allow room for that."

"Every Lord's Day we gather as a people to celebrate the work of our risen Lord. Because Jesus came in the flesh, died in our place, and rose from the grave, every Sunday is like Easter and Christmas. Every Sunday I hope the storyline of our service is the Good News of Jesus Christ."

"I've been around the church a long time and never heard the word used. The liturgical calendar is not at the forefront of what we're trying to accomplish. I've never heard a person say anything negative about it; it's just not mentioned."

"If I saw instruction in the New Testament that Christians should observe celebrations at certain times, or thought New Testament evidence reflected a pattern of the early Christians ...

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In the Magazine

November 2011

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