Liturgical Calendar

The seasons of the Church follow one universal liturgical calendar. The order of the year is as follows:

Advent

Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical calendar. It consists of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.

Christmas

In the Catholic Church, Christmas is more than one day.  It is a season that begins on Christmas Eve (December 24), continues through the Feast of the Epiphany, and includes the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Christmastide concludes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January.

Lent

The forty days of Lent is reminiscent of Jesus’ forty days in the desert. Lent is a season of repentance and renewal in solidarity with those preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation to be received at Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

Triduum (or Holy Week)

The Triduum comprises the most important three days in the liturgical year: Holy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper; Good Friday, commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross); and Holy Saturday, commemorating the Lord’s burial. The Easter Vigil is celebrated on the night of Holy Saturday when new members of the faith receive the Sacraments of Initiation and are welcomed into the Church.

Easter

Alleluia – He is risen!  Eastertide, or the Easter Season, celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead, his victory over death. Christ’s Ascension into heaven is celebrated on the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Eastertide concludes on Pentecost Sunday, commemorating when God sent the Holy Spirit to descend upon the Apostles to spread the Gospel to all nations.

Ordinary Time

The season of Ordinary Time explores Christ’s mission and message through the Gospels. This season includes Trinity Sunday, which celebrates God’s self-revelation as a Trinity of Persons, and Corpus Christi, which celebrates the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. Ordinary Time concludes with the Solemnity of Christ the King, bringingthe liturgical year to a close.

During the year, in addition to Sunday worship, the Church also celebrates Solemnities, Feasts, and Memorials, which may be on any day of the week. These occur during the year to commemorate special events or persons highly revered by the Catholic Church.

 


 

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