Seasons and celebrations

The church calendar and our celebrations recall the events of Jesus' life and the great teachings of Christian faith.

The high points are Christmas and Easter, each preceded by a season of preparation and followed by a season of celebration. Some seasons, like Advent and Christmas, have fixed dates. Others such as Easter have variable dates. Follow the links on these pages to see more about each season and its celebration at St Philip's.

church calendar


Advent — begins the Christian year on Advent Sunday, the fourth Sunday before Christmas. It is the season of preparation for Christmas. Advent means 'coming' — the coming of the Lord in his birth at Bethlehem, in our daily lives, and at the end of history. View St Philip's Advent calendars.


Christmas — Twelve days of joy, from Christmas Day to 5th January, celebrating our Lord's birth, his incarnation.


Epiphany — from the Feast of the Epiphany on 6th January to Shrove Tuesday — with the message that Jesus has been made known as Son of God and Saviour of all. The Sunday after the Epiphany commemorates Jesus' Baptism.

Forty days after Christmas, our celebration of Jesus' incarnation culminates in the feast of The Presentation of Christ in the Temple on 2 February.


Lent — beginning on Ash Wednesday, the forty days (excluding Sundays) before Easter Day. It is time of renewed commitment to the call of God in our lives. View St Philip's Lenten calendars

The fourth Sunday of Lent is Mothering Sunday. The last week of Lent is Holy Week, including Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday, the day of crucifixion.

On 25 March is the Annunciation, when the Archangel announced to Mary that she would bear the Christ child.



EasterEaster Day and the seven weeks after it, celebrate the resurrection of Christ and his triumph over sin and death.

On the fortieth day we celebrate the Ascension of Christ to the Father. On 1 May (The feast of St Philip & St James) or the nearest Sunday, we celebrate St Philip's Day as St Philip is the patron of our Parish.


The Easter season concludes at Pentecost, which celebrates the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.

After Pentecost is the time between Pentecost Sunday and the beginning of a new church year with the following Advent.

Trinity Sunday is the Sunday after Pentecost. The festival of Mary, Mother of our Lord, is remembered on 15 August. On Creation Sunday, close to the feast of Francis of Assisi (4 October), we give thanks for all created things and pray for the care and preservation of the Earth.

All Saints' Day is on 1 November or the following Sunday. The church year ends with the celebration of Christ the King on the fifth Sunday before Christmas.