Liturgical Calendar

By Father Apolinar Samboni

Thanksgiving Day is around the corner and it is special celebration to thank God for everything He has given us during this year. Likewise, the Catholic Church is near the end of a cycle of its liturgical calendar. The Liturgical Calendar has split them in three cycles: “A, B, C.”  The goal is to help you read most of the books in the Bible during Mass. During 2017 we have been following the readings of cycle “A” which will end on November 26 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King. We will begin cycle “B” on December 3 with the season of Advent. These days can change because they are based on the moon’s calendar. The Liturgical Calendar has its different seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time.

Advent Season means the time of waiting for the Lord’s coming which is “Almost ready but not yet.” It consists of four weeks which end on the night of December 24th. During this time, we wear the purple vestment during celebrations, the Advent Wreath with three purple candles and a pink candle. The pink is lit on the third week which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgen Mary with the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on 12th. Each candle means an Advent week that helps us to prepare for Christmas.

Christmas Season starts on December 25th and ends in January with The Epiphany of the Lord. During this time, the color white is the most important. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ among the Holy Family and in or hearts. The Catholic Church invites us to live this Special Season with joy and warmth which brings Christmas songs, lights, gifts, and families gathering around Baby Jesus. When this season is over we go through ordinary time for few weeks and then we are ready to Lent Season.

Lent Season begins with “Ash Wednesday” and ends on Holy Wednesday after Palm Sunday. Purple is the main color used to decorate the church and vestments for Liturgical celebrations. On Ash Wednesday, everybody goes to the church to receive ashes on his or her forehead. When somebody receives the “Ashes” it means that you are ready to make changes in your inner spiritual being during these six weeks. It is not something magical. During this time the Sunday readings lead the Catechumens in their formation to receive the initiation of the Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, and Firs Holy Communion. Catechumens are people who did not receive any sacrament in their childhood and they begin their process after seven years of age or as adults. Their process to receive the sacraments takes at least a year or two. Then we go to the Pascal Triduum, it means Holy Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. In this way we are ready to live Easter.

Easter Season focuses on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It has seven weeks and the color white is used at all liturgical celebrations, lilies adorn the church, and the priest and deacon sprinkle holy water during Sunday Celebrations. It begins with first Sunday of Easter and ends with Solemnity of Pentecost. Easter Season is the most important for a catholic faithful. After Pentecost we go to Ordinary Time again.

Ordinary Time goes through most of the cycle. It has thirty-four weeks and green color is used during liturgical celebrations, except during special celebrations. The Catholic Church encourages us to celebrate and live the Word of God through different seasons and cycles during the year. I invite you to know the beauty of Catholic Church in living the love of God through the service to our neighbor.


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