The liturgical year is a cycle that keeps repeating itself year after year, but, from a spiritual point of view, it is always new because it continues to draw us more deeply into our relationship with Christ.
The liturgical year celebrates the sacred mysteries of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It includes the feast of the Ascension, when Jesus returned to heaven with the promise that he would come again, and Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles.
The Liturgical Seasons
Advent is the First Season
It is a time of waiting for the birth of the Messiah. There are four Sundays in Advent. During Mass you will notice that the colours used for vestments and altar cloths during Advent are violet, with pink on the Third Sunday of Advent to symbolise hope. The readings and the music during Advent reflect this spirit of anticipation and longing for the coming of the Lord.
In school our Head Boy, Head Girl and House Captains make Advent Wreaths which are displayed throughout the season. The children begin each week with a whole school Advent Worship assembly and then take part in daily class led Advent collective worship.
Christmas Eve marks the beginning of the Christmas Season in the Church
Christmas lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January. White or gold are the colours used for vestments and altar cloths. The readings, the music and the decorations in the church are of joy and a sense of celebration.
Ordinary Time Follows the Christmas Season
It begins on the Monday after the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and ends when Lent begins. A second period of Ordinary Time follows Pentecost and continues until the beginning of Advent. The colour green, a symbol of hope, is used for vestments and altar cloths during Ordinary Time. Throughout Ordinary Time, the story of Jesus’ life and ministry continues to unfold.
Lent is an Important Season in the Liturgical Year
It is a 40-day period of fasting, self-discipline and repentance that begins on Ash Wednesday. The season of Lent finishes with the liturgies of Holy Week, which recall the passion and death of Jesus. Purple is used for vestments and altar cloths during Lent. The Gloria is omitted during Lent and the word “alleluia” is not said or sung.
The Easter is the most Important Celebration in the Liturgical Year
season begins with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and continues for the next 50 days, until the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The colour of the Easter season is white, representing Christ’s victory over death. The music is filled with joyful alleluias.