Ordinary Time is the period in the Church calendar outside of other major seasons, and runs 33 or 34 weeks. In Latin, Ordinary Time is called Tempus Per Annum ("time throughout the year"). The season falls between Christmas and Lent, and also between Easter and Advent, exclusive. It focuses on celebrating the entirety of Christ's person.
Liturgical Color(s): Green
Type of Holiday: Season
Time of Year: The Monday following the Baptism of the Lord (end of Christmas), until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday; Monday following Pentecost until the evening before Advent
Duration: Total of 33 or 34 weeks
Celebrates/Symbolizes: The complete mystery of Christ
Alternate Names: "Sundays of the Year"; tempus per annum
Scriptural References: Various
The Latin Tempus Per Annum ("time throughout the year") is rendered into English as "Ordinary Time." Many sources, both online and in print, suggest that Ordinary Time is derived from the word ordinal, meaning "numbered," since the Sundays of Ordinary Time, as in other seasons, are ordered numerically.
The use of the term "Ordinary Time" was used before the Second Vatican Council, but it was not until after the council that the term was officially used to designate the period between Epiphany and Lent, and the period between Pentecost and Advent. Rather than being called the "Season of Ordinary Time," the times were called "Season After Epiphany" and "Season After Pentecost" After the new Catholic Calendar took effect in 1969, these older designations were no longer used. However, some groups (including some Anglicans) still use the older designations. Interestingly, the Church in the Patristic period never seemed to effectively and concisely classify or label Ordinary Time, even though the time certainly existed.