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Liturgical Seasons of the Church


The prayer of the Church revolves around the events of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and glorification through the seasons of the liturgical year. Throughout the liturgical year, we are reminded of our call to follow Jesus.


Advent The liturgical year begins with the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is a joyful waiting in which we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.


Christmas Season During the Christmas season we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, the feat of Mary, Mother of God; the Epiphany; and the Baptism of the Lord.


Lent During Lent we prepare to celebrate Easter. Lent is a forty-day period of prayer and sacrifice. It begins with Ash Wednesday, a day on which the priest traces a cross on your forehead with ashes. The sixth Sunday of Lent, known as Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday, signals the beginning of Holy Week.


Easter Triduum The Easter Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. It continues with the celebration of the Lord’s passion on Good Friday and the Easter vigil service on Holy Saturday. It ends with the evening prayer on Easter Sunday. Easter is the greatest feast of the liturgical year.


Easter Season In the Easter Season the Church continues to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Toward the end of this season, we celebrate the Lord’s ascension and prepare for the great feast of Pentecost that marks the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.


Ordinary Time During the Church year, there are two seasons called Ordinary Time. The first runs from the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism to the day before Ash Wednesday. The second begins the Monday after the Feast of Pentecost and ends on the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent. Ordinary Time consists of thirty-three or thirty-four weeks. During this time, we celebrate all that Jesus has taught us and listen to stories about his life.


Sunday Sunday, the first day of the week, commemorates the resurrection of Jesus and is observed as the Lord’s Day.


Holy Days of Obligation Holy Days of Obligation are special occasions on which Catholics are seriously obliged to attend Mass.


Commemorations of the Saints During the liturgical year, the church also honors Mary and the saints with special feasts. Some are observed on Sundays; others are observed on weekdays. The seasons and feasts of the liturgical year help us to worship God every day and remind us of his continued presence with the Church.

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