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Liturgical Year

The liturgical year is made up of six seasons:

  • Advent - four weeks of preparation before the celebration of Jesus' birth
  • Christmas - recalling the Nativity of Jesus Christ and his manifestation to the peoples of the world
  • Lent - a six-week period of penance before Easter
  • Sacred Paschal Triduum - the holiest "Three Days" of the Church's year, where the Christian people recall the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus
  • Easter - 50 days of joyful celebration of the Lord's resurrection from the dead and his sending forth of the Holy Spirit
  • Ordinary Time - divided into two sections (one span of 4-8 weeks after Christmas Time and another lasting about six months after Easter Time), wherein the faithful consider the fullness of Jesus' teachings and works among his people

Each liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent during the preceding calendar year (i.e., the First Sunday of Advent in 2019 began the 2020 liturgical year).

 

Calendar for 2020 | Calendar for 2021

 

Understanding the Liturgical Colors

 

In the liturgical calendar, the color for each day corresponds to that day's main liturgical celebration, even though Optional Memorials (perhaps with a different color) might be chosen instead.  The four main colors shown are:

 

White – Christmas Time and Easter Time; celebrations of the Lord (except of his Passion), of Mary, of the Angels, and of Saints who were not Martyrs; solemnities of the Most Holy Trinity (Sun. after Pentecost), of All Saints (Nov. 1), and of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24); feasts of the Conversion of St. Paul (Jan. 25), of the Chair of St. Peter (Feb. 22), and of St. John (Dec. 27); also permitted in the United States at Masses for the Dead

 

Red – Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Pentecost Sunday; celebrations of the Lord's Passion, of Apostles, and of Evangelists; celebrations of Martyrs

 

Green – Ordinary Time

 

Violet – Advent and Lent; Masses for the Dead

Other liturgical colors not represented on this calendar include rose (Third Sun. of Advent and Fourth Sun. of Lent), black (Masses for the Dead), and gold or silver (permitted in the United States for more solemn occasions).