The Season of Kingdomtide

Liturgical Color: Green


Kingdomtide, also called “The Season After Pentecost,” or “Ordinary Time,” begins the day after Pentecost and ends the day before the First Sunday of Advent. It may include twenty-three to twenty-eight Sundays, depending on the date of Easter, but the first Sunday is always Trinity Sunday, and the last Sunday is always the Sunday of the Reign of Christ, or “Christ the King.” The season also includes All Saints and Thanksgiving.

United Methodists have the option of calling this season Kingdomtide, a term first used in 1937 in a book sponsored by the former Federal Council of Churches as a name for the half of the year between the Day of Pentecost and Advent, during which churches were urged to emphasize Jesus’ teachings concerning the kingdom of God. In 1940 the season was shortened to three months, beginning the last Sunday in August. The former Methodist Church adopted it in its shortened three-month form in the 1945 and 1965 editions of The Book of Worship. Today, no other denomination uses the term Kingdomtide.

Although the scripture lessons in the lectionary for this half of the year go in a semi continuous cycle through the books of the Bible rather than follow a theme, the gospel lessons cover Jesus’ teaching ministry and tend to center on the theme of the kingdom and the reign of God. Thus this half of the year can fully serve the purposes intended for Kingdomtide in its original six-month form.

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