Liturgical Calendar

The worship of the Catholic Church follows a calendar that is based on a cycle of liturgical seasons plus saints’ days celebrated throughout the year.

Just as we mark our lives by anniversaries, the Church celebrates the mysteries of Christ’s life in a recurrent pattern. Within the cycle of a year the Church remembers and celebrates Christ’s conception, birth, death, resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

During the course of the year we bring to mind past events and people to keep the mystery of faith alive today and we look forward to Christ’s return in glory at the end of time. As pilgrim people, we are constantly nourished by the story of Jesus and guided by the saints, our ancestors in the faith, living witness of God’s unchanging love.

In some respects the church’s way of keeping time conflicts with the secular calendar. The new liturgical year begins on the first Sunday of Advent at the end of November, just as many other things like the academic year are coming to an end.

The seasons of the liturgical year are:

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

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 (Dec. 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 is the most important three days in the liturgical year. Holy Thursday (which commemorates the Last Supper), Good Friday (which commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross), and Holy Saturday (where the Church pauses to commemorate the Lord’s burial). The Easter Vigil is celebrated on Holy Saturday night when new members of the faith receive the Sacraments of Initiation and are welcomed into the Church.

Easter

Alleluia – He is Risen! The Easter season celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead, his victory over death. Christ’s Ascension into heaven is celebrated on the 7th Sunday after Easter. Eastertide concludes at Pentecost, where Jesus sends the Holy Spirit 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 which brings the liturgical year to a close. During the year, in addition to the 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 that are highly revered by the Catholic Church.
Today's Liturgy


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Monday of the Third week of Easter

Acts of the Apostles 6,8-15.

Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.
Then they instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God."
They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
They presented false witnesses who testified, "This man never stops saying things against (this) holy place and the law.
For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us."
All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6,22-29.

[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal."
So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."


Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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