The Liturgical Year OBJECTIVES What is Liturgy? What is the Origin of Our Liturgy? Who Celebrates the Liturgy? When is the Liturgy Celebrated?

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1 The Liturgical Year OBJECTIVES v Define Liturgy v Define Liturgical Year v Define Liturgical Calendar v Describe the Liturgical Colors v Gain an Understanding of the Liturgical Seasons What is Liturgy? In Christian Use v Eastern Churches almost always associated with the Eucharistic Sacrifice Divine Liturgy v Western Churches either the celebration of the Mass or the whole collection of official services used in public worship What is the Origin of Our Liturgy? v The origin of Liturgy is found in the institution by Christ of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Sacraments, as well as in his example and precepts concerning the necessity and mode of prayer v While Christ laid down the essentials, he left the development of details to his Church, to carry out this task under the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who Celebrates the Liturgy? v It is the whole community, the Body of Christ united with its head that celebrates v Liturgical services are not private functions but are celebrations of the Church which is the sacrament of unity, namely, the holy people united and organized under the authority of the bishops v Therefore, liturgical services pertain to the whole Body of the Church When is the Liturgy Celebrated? v Sunday is the pre-eminent day for the liturgical assembly, when the faithful gather to listen to word of God and take part in the Eucharist thus calling to mind the Passion, Resurrection, and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God who has begotten them again, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead unto a living hope What is the Liturgical Year? The liturgical year is the temporal structure within which the Church celebrates the holy mysteries of Christ "From the Incarnation and the Nativity to the Ascension, to Pentecost and to the wait in joyful hope for the Lord's coming"

2 What is the Liturgical Calendar? v A tool that kindles the hearts of Catholics so that they may remember God s plan of salvation that was accomplished through the birth, life, death and rising of Jesus Christ v Follows a three-year cycle, each represented by the letters: A B C The Seasons of the Liturgical Calendar v There are six Seasons within the Liturgical Calendar Ø Advent Ø Christmas Ø Lent /Triduum Ø Easter Ø Ordinary Time Liturgical Colors White (may also use Gold or Silver) v Seasons of Christmas and Easter v Feasts of the Lord (other than His Passion) v Feasts of Mary, the Angels, Apostles & Saints who were not martyrs v All Saints (November 1 st ) & may be used on All Souls (November 2 nd ) v Weddings, Baptisms, & Funerals Red v Palm Sunday v Good Friday v Pentecost v Birthday Feasts of the Apostles & Evangelists v Celebrations of Saints who were martyred Violet v Season of Lent v Season of Advent v May be used for Funerals v May be used on All Souls Day (November 2 nd ) Rose v 3 rd Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) v 4 th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) Green v Used throughout Ordinary Time ADVENT v The liturgical season of spiritual preparation before Christmas v The Season of Advent begins on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30 th )

3 v It spans four Sundays and four weeks, with the last week usually shortened according to what day of the week Christmas falls on v Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means coming v The importance of the Advent Season is to focus on the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ v The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year which will be Cycle C II v In 2015, Advent begins on Sunday, November 29 th v Advent concludes with the start of the Christmas Season, which is on Friday, December 25, 2015 Catechism of the Catholic Church v Stresses the two-fold meaning of the coming When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. (CCC 524) v The focus of the entire season is the celebration of Ø The birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, Ø And the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent v Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history v It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God CHRISTMAS v Christmas is more than just a day rather it is a season v The liturgical Season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 10, 2016 v While the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Savior in fact ranks after Easter and Pentecost, it remains the most popular celebration of the Church year, focused on our wonder at the sublime mystery of the Incarnation LENT / HOLY TRIDUUM v The Season of Lent extends from Ash Wednesday (February 10, 2016) to the evening Mass of the Lord s Supper on Holy Thursday (March 24, 2016) v Lent is the penitential season set aside by the Church in order for the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the Lord s Passion, Death and Resurrection v During this holy season, inextricably connected to the Paschal Mystery, the Catechumens prepare for Christian initiation, and current Church members prepare for Easter by a recalling of Baptism and by works of penance v Prayer v Fasting v Almsgiving v The two elements which are especially characteristic of Lent v Baptism (the recalling of baptism or the preparation for it)

4 v Penance v The Holy Triduum is comprised of three Sacred Days v Holy Thursday v Good Friday v Holy Saturday Holy Thursday v Holy Thursday we celebrate the events of the Last Supper v At the Last Supper that Jesus instituted the pillars of our Catholic faith v The Eucharist v The Priesthood v Mass v At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples demonstrating that we all must be willing to serve one another v During the Mass, the clergy wash the feet of several members of the Parish Following the Holy Thursday Mass; Adoration of the Holy Eucharist continues until midnight v This symbolizes the time Jesus spent in prayer in Garden of Gethsemane Good Friday v We remember the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ v We have a Good Friday service but there is no Mass v During this service our Gospel reading details the events of our Lord s Passion v We venerate the Cross honoring our Lord s sacrifice for us Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil Mass v At the Easter Vigil Mass we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ v At this service our catechumens and candidates will enter the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation v Baptism v Confirmation v Holy Eucharist EASTER v Easter is not one day or one solemnity it is a fifty day celebration, extending from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday v A season of solemnity and exaltation at the triumph of Jesus over sin and death ORDINARY TIME v Ordinary comes from the Latin word Ordinalis which refers to numbers in a series v In Ordinary Time the Sundays/weeks are ordered or numbered

5 v Following the Season of Christmas, Ordinary Time will extend to the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday v Following the Season of Easter we enter a second and longer period of Ordinary Time that will last until Advent Holy Days of Obligation v Most days of obligation fall on a Sunday, however, there are special Feasts in the Liturgical Calendar that fall during the week v The number of days of obligation may vary from country to country. In the United States, the following 6 days of obligation are observed v Christmas Day (December 25 th ) v Mary, the Mother of God (January 1 st ) v The Ascension (7 th Sunday of Easter) v The Assumption of Mary (August 15 th ) v All Saint s Day (November 1 st ) v The Immaculate Conception (December 8 th ) From presentation by Deacon Bob Kepshire

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