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The Liturgical Calendar
The Liturgical Year begins with the First Sunday of Advent
List of Seasons with links
The Feasts and Seasons of the Liturgical Year
from The Catechism of the Catholic Church
As defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Liturgical Year is "The celebration throughout the year of the mysteries of the Lord's birth, life, death, and Resurrection in such a way that the entire year becomes a 'year of the Lord's grace'. Thus the cycle of the liturgical year and the great feasts constitute the basic rhythm of the Christian's life of prayer, with its focal point at Easter" (§1168).
(Note: Catechism of the Catholic Church) - You and your family can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year if you read about 8 paragraphs each day.
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy can be found on the Vatican Website. From paragraph 4 of the Directory: "The object of this Directory is to offer guidelines and, where necessary, to prevent abuses or deviations. Its tone is positive and constructive. In the same context, it provides short historical notes on several popular devotions in its Guidelines. It records the various pious exercises attached to these devotions while signalling their theological underpinning, and making practical suggesting in relation to time, place, language and other factors, so as to harmonize them with the Liturgy."
Sample from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy below:
THE LITURGICAL YEAR AND POPULAR PIETY
94. The liturgical year is the temporal structure within which the Church celebrates the holy mysteries of Christ: "From the Incarnation and the Nativity to the Ascension, to Pentecost and to the wait in joyful hope for the Lord's coming" (109).
In the liturgical year, "the celebration of the Paschal Mystery [...] is the most privileged moment in the daily, weekly and annual celebration of Christian worship" (110). Consequently, the priority of the Liturgical year over any other devotional form or practice must be regarded as a touchstone for the relationship between Liturgy and popular piety.
95. Since the "Lord's day" is the "primordial feast" and "basis and center of the liturgical year"(111), it cannot be subordinated to popular piety. Hence, pious exercises whose main chronological reference point is Sunday, should not be encouraged.
For the pastoral good of the faithful, it is, however, licit to take up on the Sundays "per annum" those celebrations of the Lord, or in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Saints which occur during the week and which are particularly significant in popular piety, provided that they have precedence over Sundays in the tables published with the Roman calendar (112).
Given that popular or cultural traditions can sometimes be invasive of the Sunday celebration and deprive it of its Christian character, "There is a need for special pastoral attention to the many situations where there is a risk that the popular and cultural traditions of a region may intrude upon the celebration of Sundays and other liturgical feast-days, mingling the spirit of genuine Christian faith with elements which are foreign to it and may distort it. In such cases, catechesis and well-chosen pastoral initiatives need to clarify these situations, eliminating all that is incompatible with the Gospel of Christ. At the same time, it should not be forgotten that these traditions and, by analogy, some recent cultural initiatives in civil society often embody values which are not difficult to integrate with the demands of faith. It rests with the discernment of Pastors to preserve the genuine values found in the culture of a particular social context and especially in popular piety, so that liturgical celebration above all on Sundays and holy days does not suffer but rather may actually benefit" (113).
List of Seasons of the Church Year
Prayers and Devotions Main Page | Liturgical Calendar
Seasons of the Church Year | Advent | Christmas | Lent | Easter | Ordinary Time | Marian Feasts | Favorite prayers & devotions | Alphabetical List | The Seven Sacraments | Early Church Fathers | The Ten Commandments | Latin Prayers on Adoremus Website | New Saints & Blesseds on the Vatican Website
Following is an alphabetical list of the principal feasts and liturgical seasons from the Catechism:
Advent - The liturgical season of four weeks devoted to preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas (524).
Annunciation - The visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to inform her that she was to be the mother of the Savior. After giving her consent to God's word, Mary became the mother of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (484, 494).
Ascension - The entry of Jesus' humanity into divine glory in God's heavenly domain, forty days after His Resurrection (659,665).
Assumption - The dogma that recognizes the Blessed Virgin Mary's singular participation in her Son's Resurrection by which she was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when the course of her earthly life was finished (2124-5).
Christmas - The feast of the Nativity, the birth of Jesus (1171).
Easter - The greatest and oldest Christian feast, which celebrates Christ's Resurrection from the dead. Easter is the "feast of feasts", the solemnity of solemnities, the "Great Sunday". Christians prepare for it during Lent and Holy Week, and catechumens usually receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil (1169; cf. 647).
Epiphany - The feast that celebrates the manifestation to the world of the newborn Christ as Messiah, Son of God, and Savior of the world. The feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the east, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast of Cana in Galilee (528; cf. 535).
Feast Days - The annual cycle of liturgical celebrations commemorating the saving mysteries of Christ's life, as a participation in the Paschal Mystery, which is celebrated annually at Easter, the "feast of feasts." Feast days commemorating Mary, the Mother of God, and the saints are also celebrated, providing the faithful with examples of those who have been glorified with Christ (1169, 1173).
Holy Days of Obligation - Principal feast days on which, in addition to Sundays, Catholics are obligated by Church law to participate in the Eucharist; a precept of the Church (2043, 2180).
Holy Week - The week preceding Easter, beginning with Palm (Passion) Sunday, called the "Great Week" in the liturgies of the Eastern Churches. It marks the Church's annual celebration of the events of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection, culminating in the Paschal Mystery (1169).
Immaculate Conception - The dogma proclaimed in Christian Tradition and defined in 1854, that from the first moment of her conception, Mary -- by the singular grace of God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ -- was preserved immune from original sin (491).
Pentecost - The "fiftieth" day at the end of the seven weeks following Passover (Easter in the Christian dispensation). At the first Pentecost after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was manifested, given and communicated as a divine Person to the Church, fulfilling the paschal mystery of Christ according to His promise (726, 731; cf.1287). Annually the Church celebrates the memory of the Pentecost event as the beginning of the new "age of the Church", when Christ lives and acts in and with His Church (1076).
Traditions, Recipes, Articles, Children's Acitivity, prayer for Feast Day pages online - If you have a tradition, a recipe, article, Children's activity or prayer that you would like included on your favorite feast day, please see Contributors' guidelines.
Colors of the Liturgical Year
Green - Ordinary Time
Violet - Advent & Lent, Mass for Life, Funerals (optional)
Red - Passion, Holy Spirit, Martyrs, Pentecost, Confirmation
White - Easter & Christmas, Feasts of Our Lord & non-martyrs, Funerals (opt.) (o
Rose - 3rd Sunday of Advent and 4th Sunday of Lent (optional)
Black - Funerals (optional) Masses for the Dead and All Souls (optional)
For more detail, see What about Blue? Vestment colors from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal
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