Liturgical Year – the cycle of seasons and feasts of the Church year celebrating Jesus Christ’s presence with us and the events in His life; It begins with Advent, then Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter, and ends with Ordinary Time
- Advent – the season of the liturgical year in which we prepare for Christmas; it is from the eve of the fourth Sunday before Christmas until Christmas Eve
- Gaudete Sunday – the third Sunday of Advent, we light the pink candle in our wreath, it means to rejoice and it pronounce gow-DAY-tay
- The O Antiphons – from December 17 to December 23 marks the final week of Advent, there is a different antiphon for each night and each starts with O
- O Wisdom, O Adonai (Ah-doe-NYE), O Flower of Jesse, O Key of David, O Dawn, O King, O Emmanuel
- Christmas Season – the season of the liturgical year from Christmas Eve until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord
- Christmas Day – December 25, the holy day the celebrates the birth of the Lord
- Solemnity of Mary – January 1st. We celebrate the fulfillment of promise the angel Gabriel made to Mary that she is the mother of God.
- Epiphany – celebrated on the Sunday closest to January 6th, which is the twelfth day of Christmas. This day recalls the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. Epiphany means “appearance”, “revelation”, and “manifestation”.
- Baptism of the Lord – On the Sunday after Epiphany we celebrate Jesus baptism by John in the Jordan River.
- Ordinary Time – this season has two parts; the first part is between Christmas and Lent and the second part begins after the Easter season and completes the liturgical year
- Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday – the day before Lent when historically people held a final feast to use of many of the foods that would not be used during the Lenten fast
- Lent – the season of the liturgical year that is the forty days in preparation for Easter
- Ash Wednesday – the seventh Wednesday before Easter that marks the beginning of Lent
- Laetare Sunday – the Fourth Sunday of Lent, like Gaudete Sunday its meaning is rejoice.
- Palm Sunday – the sixth Sunday of Lent (the Sunday before Easter) we recall when Jesus entered Jerusalem
- Easter Triduum – from sundown on Holy Thursday until sundown on Easter Sunday it is the holiest time of the Church year, we celebrate the three days of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus
- Our reflections days focus on these days – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday
- Easter Season – the season of the liturgical year that begins on Easter Sunday and lasts 50 days, ending on Pentecost Sunday; it celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection
- Ascension Thursday – the fortieth day of Eastertime which marks Jesus’ Ascension into heaven
- Pentecost – the fiftieth day of Eastertime, 10 days after Ascension Thursday, this marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles
Vestment Colors –
Advent and Lent = Purple (stands for sorrow & penance)
Christmas and Easter = Gold and White (stands for joy)
Ordinary Time = Green (stands for hope)
(Red stands for the Holy Spirit and is used as various times throughout the year – Pentecost, Good Friday, etc.)
Days of Fast – to fast is to eat only one full meal and two lighter meals that do not equal the main meal. Catholics must fast from the 21st birthday to the 59th birthday on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Days of Abstinence – Catholics fourteen years and older are bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays during Lent.