The Liturgical Year
Seasons of Our Church
The Liturgical Year is a twelve month cycle which celebrates and retells the life and ministry of Jesus. It highlights significant people and events in the story of salvation. Celebrating the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year enables Christians to deepen their faith, discover ways to live as disciples, and celebrate Jesus' presence in the life of the Church today. The Liturgical Year includes five major seasons, and begins the first Sunday of Advent.

+ ADVENT: Begins the Sunday nearest November 30th and ends December 24th.

Advent is a time of preparation for the corning of Christ, when we reflect on how we might get ready to welcome Jesus into all aspects of our lives.

+ CHRISTMAS: Begins at the vigil December 24th and lasts until the Sunday after Epiphany (January 6th).

We continue the celebration of Christ's birth through the twelve days of Christmas. We remember the coming of the magi on Epiphany, and then the Baptism of the Lord the following Sunday. We then spend several weeks in "ordinary time" when we reflect on Jesus' life and teaching:

+ LENT: Begins Ash Wednesday and lasts until Holy Thursday evening.

Lent is a special time when we look at the meaning of Jesus' life for us today. It is a time for us to consider how we might more closely follow Jesus in our life by making choices to give up the things that keep us from being better disciples, and give of ourselves in caring for others as Jesus would. The Paschal Triduum begins on Holy Thursday and lasts until evening prayer on Easter Sunday. The Triduum focuses on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the three-day high point of the liturgical year when we "walk" with Jesus through his passion and resurrection.

+ EASTER: Begins Easter Sunday and lasts until Pentecost.

The celebration of the resurrection continues for fifty days until Pentecost.

+ ORDINARY TIME: Begins on the Monday after the first Sunday following January 6th, and lasts until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

The Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is also known as Mardi Gras. Ordinary Time begins again on the Monday after Pentecost and lasts until the day before the First Sunday of Advent. During Ordinary Time we hear stories of Jesus' life and mission, and explore how we can live this mission in our ordinary days.

During each liturgical season the Presider wears a different color vestment:

Advent — purple or dark blue, Christmas — white or gold; Lent—purple; Easter— white. Ordinary Time— green; Christ the King Sunday —white or gold; Pentecost— Red. For certain feast days a special color may be worn.

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