Between birthdays: the church calendar

As far as the New Apostolic Church is concerned, the year does not begin on the first of January, but rather on the first Sunday of Advent. This corresponds to the traditional church calendar with its two main seasons: the two large festive cycles surrounding Christmas and Easter. However, there is one other special feature that can only be found on the schedule here.

Festive days of gratitude

Church holy days commemorate significant events in salvation history. Beyond that they are also occasions on which to look back on the respective events with gratitude and reverence. On these festive days, corresponding Bible readings supplement the normal course of the divine services. The sermon expounds on these biblical events and explains their significance for the present and for the salvation of mankind.

It is in this manner that the New Apostolic Church celebrates the following festive events:


commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. God becomes man to bring humanity back to God. The first coming of the Son of God reinforces faith in His imminent return.

Palm Sunday

marks the start of Holy Week. With His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus Christ approaches His central act of salvation.

Good Friday

commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. With His sacrificial death He overcomes the power of sin. The old covenant is fulfilled and the new covenant begins. There can hardly be any clearer indication of God’s love for mankind than this event.


celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This event is the reason human beings can hope for eternal life. Christ has made it possible to lift the separation between man and God.

Ascension Day

commemorates Jesus Christ’s return to God the Father. The event, as described in Holy Scripture, contains the promise that Christ will return just as disciples saw Him ascend into heaven.


celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus and related in the Acts of the Apostles. The event is considered to be the birthday of the church of Christ.


Confirmation and Thanksgiving Day

In addition, the New Apostolic Church also acknowledges two other special events, which can be celebrated on different dates, depending on regional tradition, namely the act of confirmation and Thanksgiving Day. At confirmation, young Christians assume full responsibility for their life of faith. And on Thanksgiving, the congregation glorifies God as the Creator of all gifts He has granted mankind.

Services for the departed

Divine services for the departed occupy a special place in the calendar of the New Apostolic Church: three times each year, the congregations pray that the unredeemed departed can find salvation in Christ. And in central divine services conducted by the Chief Apostle, District Apostles, or their assistants, two ministers are selected to receive all three sacraments on behalf of the departed.