The church year provides a ready-made pattern for worship. The key seasons are Advent and Easter, which not only mark important events in the life of our Lord, but also inform the church’s responses to these events in outward and inward worship. In addition, the church year puts the congregation in tune with a great body of Christian tradition that stretches across the world and back through the centuries.
From New Testament times, the church met for worship on the first day of the week, the day of Jesus’ resurrection. The Lord’s Day has absorbed some features of the Jewish Sabbath but also differs in important respects. It is a day that incorporates within it all the festivals of the Christian year.
The resurrection of the crucified Christ is the point on which the weekly and annual cycles of the Christian calendar turn. In fact, it supplies the clue to the whole history of salvation and indeed the cosmos. Every Sunday and every Easter day is a commemoration and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and an anticipation of the day when the same Lord will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and finally establish God’s universal kingdom.
William Ashley (Billy) Sunday (1862-1935) was born in Ames, Iowa Sunday grew up in an army orphanage after the death of his father, a Union soldier.