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The Liturgical Calendar... • Marks the celebration of the Church's liturgies • Helps us to remember God’s saving power that was made real • Celebrates God’s time • we remember the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future • Is built around important events in the Church (ie. Jesus’ birth, death, and Resurrection)
WHAT ARE THE SEASONS (and associated symbols) OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR?
ADVENT • Marks the start of the Liturgical Year • Begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas and last for 4 weeks • “Advent” means “coming” the Advent season is about the coming of the infant Jesus • Mood: hopeful anticipation • Scripture: focus on God’s promise to send a saviour to deliver us from sin and death • Symbol: the Advent wreath • Colour: Purple (blue in some traditions)
CHRISTMASTIME • December 25: celebrates the birth and Jesus and the mystery of the Incarnation (embodiment of God in human flesh) • God entered the world as a human infant • Mood: Joyful because we remember that God is with us, bringing hope and joy by sharing in our humanity • Beginning on Christmas, the Christmas season lasts until the Baptism of Jesus, which was the 3rd Sunday after Christmas day • Colour: White
ORDINARY TIME • Scripture: tends to focus on Jesus’ life between his birth and death/resurrection • A time to reflect on Jesus’ teachings so that we can adjust our values and attitudes to be more like his • 2 periods of Ordinary Time • Between Christmastime and Lent • Between the Easter season and the next Advent • Colour: Green
LENT AND HOLY WEEK • Lent is a solemn, reflective season that prepares us for Easter • Begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days until Easter (does not include Sundays during Lent) • Recalls the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert • Ash Wednesday: people attend Church and receive ashes on their forehead • A reminder that without God we are simply dust • During Lent we are called to renew ourselves through fasting, prayers, and almsgiving (giving to those in need) • Colour: Purple (rose in some traditions)
HOLY WEEK • Begins a week before Easter on Palm Sunday • During Holy Week we remember the events of the final days of Jesus’ earthly life • Palm Sunday: we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem • The Triduum refers to the 3 special liturgies that make up the climax of Holy Week • Colour: White, Red, Purple
Holy Thursday • The Last Supper and Jesus’ gift of himself in the Eucharist • A foot washing ritual is involved to remind us of Jesus’ call to serve one another as his followers • We also remember the institution of the priesthood • Good Friday • Jesus’ Passion and death • The liturgy is somber, and starts and ends with a bare altar • During the liturgy we venerate (show love and respect for) the cross in some way • Holy Saturday • Known as the Easter Vigil, this liturgy is held at night • Recalls the joy of Christ’s resurrection • incorporates rituals of light/dark, a water blessing and lots of Scripture reading
EASTER SEASON • The primary focus of the Liturgical Year • Easter celebrates the wonder and joy of Christ’s resurrection • Lasts for 50 days after Easter, until Pentecost • The Sunday readings will focus appearances of the risen Christ and the growth of the early Church • It is a time of joy and hope because we can hope for our own Resurrection and eternal life • 2 special feasts: • The Ascension of Jesus: 40 days after Easter • The Coming of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost): 50 days after Easter • Colour: White, then Red (Pentecost)