The Source, Meaning, and Value of the Church Year by R.C.H. Lenski


“A truly magnificent conception is presented to us in the so-called Christian Church Year. Adopted in the earliest centuries, the Church Year comes to us as a most valuable inheritance.

“The early Church began to celebrate the great historical events on which our salvation rests. The start was made with the resurrection of the Savior, the supreme event celebrated already every Lord’s Day (Κυριαχὴ ἡμερα, Rev. 1:10). At first, and before the development had gone far, Easter Sunday was counted as the beginning of the Church Year, much us the Jews regarded their annual Passover Festival. In due time the other great historical events in the life of our Lord were made prominent by festive celebrations: the death of the Savior on the Friday before Easter; the Ascension forty days after Easter; the Sending of the Holy Spirit fifty days after Easter; the Manifestation of the Savior on Epiphany, the sixth day of January, — celebrated at first and quite early in the Eastern churches, and later also in the Western; finally the Birth of the Savior on the twenty-fifth day of December. These high festivals termed the basis of the Christian Church Year.” — R.C.H. Lenski

This small publication is the introduction to The Gospel Selections of the Ancient Church

Richard C. H. Lenski (1864-1936) is best known for his insightful and still invaluable series of New Testament Commentaries. He served as Professor of Theology at Capital University and President of the Western District of Joint Synod of Ohio and Editor Die Lutherische Kirchenzeitung.

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate: Some subject matter knowledge helpful.

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Publication Information

  • Lutheran Library edition first published: 2021
  • Copyright: CC BY 4.0