Happy New Liturgical Year!
Sunday, December 3, 2017, marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and a new liturgical season. The liturgical calendar for Sundays is divided into three years: A, B, and C. Each year we read in a special way one of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. What about John? We read the Gospel of John for special celebrations, such as the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday and during the season of Easter. Today, we begin year B, and on Sundays we will be reading from the Gospel of Mark, excerpts from Luke, and chapter 6 of John.
There are five liturgical seasons in the Catholic Church. Briefly, I want you to know the dates of each season for this year, and I will be writing more about each in future bulletins. The first season is Advent, December 3 to 24, 2017. Christmas is celebrated from December 25th to January 8, 2018. The first part of Ordinary Time begins on January 9th and ends on February 13th. The season of Lent will be observed from February 14th to March 29th. Then we have the Paschal Triduum, which is not considered a season, but one continuous celebration during Holy Week. It includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. The season of Easter is celebrated from April 1st to May 20th. Finally, the second part of Ordinary Time will take place from May 21st to December 1, 2018.
Have you noticed that the priest and the deacon wear vestments of different colors depending on the liturgical season? Well, that’s because each season has its proper liturgical color. Advent: purple. Christmas: white. Lent: purple. Easter: white. Ordinary Time: green. In addition, the color of the vestment changes if we celebrate a solemnity, a feast, the memory of a saint, etc. Stay tuned because the bulletin will address these topics in the near future. Next Sunday, I will write about the season of Advent which begins today. Do you notice any changes in the liturgy?