Liturgical Calendar – Is it important?

Of all the elements of the Biblical system of worship, probably none has been more generally ignored and neglected than God’s liturgical calendar. While many elements of the Judaic heritage of the church have been perpetuated in most Christian churches (e.g. tithe paying, offerings, altars, and the like), centuries of tradition and neglect have generally obscured the calendar of events which God gave to His people.

The word liturgy means an outline for public worship of God. A liturgy sets forth the order in which a body of people carries out its worship service. When the word is applied to the calendar, it simply means the days and times of memorial on which the liturgy of worship is carried out.

The liturgical calendar of most of the Christian churches of the world today prescribes the observance of such days as Christmas, Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day, and many others. These days of memorial are certainly different from those that are outlined in the Old Testament and most assuredly perpetuated in the New Testament as God’s liturgical calendar.

This is God’s intention for His people regarding the liturgical calendar which He instructed them to use: “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations: ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever” (Exodus 12:14). Since God left very little doubt that His days of memorial should be observed by His people throughout their generations forever, The Church of God has searched the Word of God to discover the timing of God’s days of memorial and the proper New Testament method of observing those days.

The primary events of God’s liturgical calendar are set forth in Exodus 23:12,14: “Six days thou shalt work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest.. three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread. . .and the feast of harvest.. and the feast of ingathering.- “Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord God.”