Christianity Knowledge Base

Kingdomtide is a liturgical season observed in the autumn by the United Methodist Church, particularly in the United States, and certain other Protestant denominations.

Methodist and Presbyterian Usage[]

Kingdomtide is a liturgical season or sub-season observed only by Protestant churches, especially Methodists and Presbyterians. Green is traditionally the color of the day throughout this season as it is a part of the season of Ordinary Time. In 1937, the Federal Council of Churches (now known as the National Council of Churches) recommended that the entire part of the Christian calendar between Pentecost and Advent be named Kingdomtide; however, two years later the Methodist Episcopal Church adopted the term only for the second half of this time period.

Precise criteria for determining when Kingdomtide begins vary in different localities. The most common practice is to start the season on the Sunday on or nearest August 31, which gives Kingdomtide 13 Sundays every year; in some places, Kingdomtide begins on the last Sunday in August, giving the season 13 Sundays in some years and 14 in others. The last Sunday of Kingdomtide is usually designated the Feast of Christ the King.

The liturgy for Kingdomtide stresses charity and assistance to the poor, in contrast to the preceding season of Pentecost, when a more spiritual mission is emphasized. Green vestments and paraments are used at church services during Kingdomtide, replacing the red used on the Sundays after Pentecost (in churches that do not recognize Kingdomtide as a separate season, green is generally deployed throughout the entire period between Pentecost and Advent).

In the United Methodist Church since the 1990s the observance of Kingdomtide has been on the decline, with many United Methodist churches adopting the more common ecumenical pattern of wearing green vestments on the Sundays After Pentecost.

In recent years Asbury Theological Seminary, an institution with Methodist roots has observed Kingdomtide as a way to frame their worship during the fall semester leading up until the Feast of Christ the King. J. D. Walt, the dean of the chapel at Asbury, says, "KingdomTide is like a banner we are unfurling to declare the mercy and justice of God in word and deed to the whole world."

Anglican Usage[]

In the Church of England, "the period between All Saints' Day and the First Sunday of Advent is observed as a time of celebration and reflection on the reign of Christ in earth and heaven". In the Church of England liturgical colours are recommended but not mandatory, so while red is encouraged during this period, individual churches may continue to use green until Advent. This period, called All Saints to Advent in the Church of England's liturgical material, is often nicknamed Kingdomtide or the Kingdom season.

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