The liturgical year is an annual cycle of seasons and feasts that is observed by the Catholic Church. It is a time-honoured tradition that has been celebrated for centuries, and it provides a framework for the Church’s worship and spiritual practices. The liturgical year is a way for Catholics to remember and celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as well as the lives of the saints and other important figures in the Church’s history.
The liturgical year is divided into several seasons, each with its own focus and emphasis. The first season is Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas. During Advent, Catholics prepare for the coming of Christ, Christmas. The season of Advent is marked by the lighting of candles on an Advent wreath, the singing of Advent hymns, and the recitation of the “O Antiphons.”
The next season is Christmas, which begins on December 25th and lasts for twelve days. During this season, Catholics celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope that he brings to the world. The season of Christmas is marked by the singing of Christmas carols, the exchange of gifts, and the lighting of Christmas trees.
The next season is Ordinary Time, which takes place between Christmas and Lent. During Ordinary Time, Catholics reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. This season is marked by the colour green, which symbolizes growth and new life.
The next season is Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for forty days. During Lent, Catholics fast, pray, and prepare for Easter. The season of Lent is marked by the colour purple, which symbolizes penance and sacrifice.
The next season is Easter, which begins on Easter Sunday and lasts for fifty days. During Easter, Catholics celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hope that it brings to the world. The season of Easter is marked by the singing of Easter hymns, the lighting of candles, and the reading of the Easter stories from the Gospels.
The final season is Pentecost, which takes place fifty days after Easter. During Pentecost, Catholics celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the birth of the Church. The season of Pentecost is marked by the colour red, which symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The liturgical year is an important part of the Catholic Church’s worship and spiritual practices. It provides a framework for Catholics to celebrate and reflect on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as well as the lives of the saints and other important figures in the Church’s history. By observing the liturgical year, Catholics deepen their faith and grow in their relationship with God.
The Liturgical Song Selections free planning tool provides various music selections for the seasons, feasts, solemnities and special celebrations within the church year.