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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Tuesday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time

Book of Isaiah 7,1-9.

In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah, went up to attack Jerusalem, but they were not able to conquer it.
When word came to the house of David that Aram was encamped in Ephraim, the heart of the king and heart of the people trembled, as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind.
Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller's field,
and say to him: Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear; let not your courage fail before these two stumps of smoldering brands (the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans, and of the son of Remaliah),
because of the mischief that Aram (Ephraim and the son of Remaliah) plots against you, saying,
"Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force, and appoint the son of Tabeel king there."
Thus says the LORD: This shall not stand, it shall not be!
Damascus is the capital of Aram, and Rezin the head of Damascus; Samaria is the capital of Ephraim, and Remaliah's son the head of Samaria.
But within sixty years and five, Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation. Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm!

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11,20-24.

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum: 'Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.' For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."


Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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