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Liturgical Seasons of the Year
in the Roman Catholic Church

 

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Throughout the year, the Catholic Church celebrates various stages in the life and the process of redemption of Jesus Christ, giving us an opportunity to reflect on Christ's example and instruction to us.

 

Liturgical Seasons of the Year
in the Roman Catholic Church

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As depicted on the above graphic, the first Sunday of Advent marks the start of the Church's Liturgical Season. The season progresses clockwise and ends on the Saturday of the 34th week of Ordinary Time. Throughout the year we celebrate in memory of many Christian events and feasts. The liturgical year was developed over time by a complex process involving numerous traditions and cultures.

The seasons of the Church are seasons of our own Christian lives. The liturgical year relates us to the ancient Christian era and beyond. The changing seasons, months and days, enable us to enter into the mystery of salvation and share in God's great deeds through rituals and festal celebrations. At the liturgies we celebrate, we commemorate the Christian events just as our ancestors did. We enter into the experience of longing, waiting, hungering for God's grace, rejoicing and victory as we participate in the liturgies which make current, the events of the past.

The liturgy unfolds and presents to us our story, the story of salvation. It enables us to share in the messianic vision of the prophet Isaiah during Advent; the longing and waiting of the Jewish people for the "one who saves"; the excitement and joy of the prophetess Anna at the sight of the Messiah. With palms, we walk in procession reliving the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; we trace his path to Calvary as we pray the Stations of the Cross during Lent. We sing Alleluia at Easter to express joy in resurrection, Christ's victory over Satan, sin and death. Thus the liturgical year guides us on our journey to the Kingdom. The seasons of the church guide and lead us closer to the heavenly Jerusalem.

 

Seasons of the Church Year

Advent Begins the new Liturgical Season of the Catholic Church and starts on the Sunday nearest to Nov 30, the feast of Saint Andrew, and ends on Dec 24.
Christmastide Begins on Christmas and ends on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a period of twelve (12) days.
Ordinary Time Begins on Monday, after Christmastide and runs to the start of Lent. During this season the readings focus on Jesus' early ministry of teaching and healing, and the gathering of disciples.
Lent A season of penance lasting forty days, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday at the Mass of the Lord's Supper. The final week is called Holy Week; and the last three days are the Paschal or Easter Triduum.
Eastertide Begins on Easter Sunday and continues for fifty days to Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles. The theme of this season is resurrection from sin to the life of grace.
Ordinary Time Ordinary Time continues again and ends on the last Saturday of the liturgical year, prior to the First Sunday of Advent.