As a follow-up to our post on the seasons of the Church Year, we’ve compiled a list of Church Year feasts and festivals to help deepen your understanding. Read below for more information on the Church Year. Then follow the links to learn more about each day.
What Is a Feast or Festival in the Church Year?
In the book Ordering Our Days in His Peace: An Introduction to the Church Year, Rev. Heath Curtis provides this simple definition of feasts and festivals in the Church Year:
Celebrations in the life of the Church that mark important events and commemorations, such as events in Jesus’ life (The Circumcision and Name of Jesus), celebrations of notable people (St. Timothy—January 24, St. Luke—October 18), and great events in the life of the Church (Reformation, Holy Cross Day).
Why Do We Celebrate Feasts and Festivals in the Church Year?
Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Services provides even more insights into why we celebrate these important days:
There are those saints whose lives on earth are so intimately connected with the earthly life and ministry of Christ Jesus that their stories are an integral part of the Gospel itself. Along with Mary and John the Baptist, the most obvious examples would be the apostles and evangelists. Because of their roles in salvation history and their relationship to Christ Jesus, these saints have long been remembered and celebrated with special distinction—to the praise and glory of the Lord and His Gospel. Such days are really treated as feasts of Christ, that is to say, as days when we remember, celebrate, and give thanks for the life that our Lord Jesus Christ lived in flesh and blood like ours and for the death by which He procured eternal life for us and for all people. With that in mind, it is appropriate that such feasts and festivals (LSB xi) be celebrated with the full Divine Service, whereby the “Word made flesh” draws near to us and gives Himself to us as surely as He drew near and lived with the apostles and other disciples in the New Testament.
Church Year Feasts and Festivals by Month and Day
The following is a complete list of feasts and festivals taken from Lutheran Service Book, page xi. Scroll through the list to see important dates. Then follow the links to see a brief reading for each day.
The observances listed in boldface are principal feasts of Christ.
31 Eve of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus
Quotation from Ordering Our Days in His Peace: An Introduction to the Church Year, p. 46, is copyright © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Quotation from Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Services, p. 263, is copyright © 2022 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Feasts and festivals are from Lutheran Service Book, p. xi, copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Find more Church Year readings in the Treasury of Daily Prayer
Looking for even more Church Year devotions? The Treasury of Daily Prayer provides 365 days of material directly aligned with the Church Year calendar. Each daily spread includes readings from the daily lectionary, a brief devotional writing, and a prayer.