Below is a brief description of the principal liturgical seasons but for more information, please visit our site's FAQ’S/Resources page for reliable sources of in-depth explanations of their tradition, meaning and history.
During this time the faithful are admonished to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love, thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.
Christmas occurs just after the darkest point of the solar year. At Christmas the faithful celebrate the Nativity of Christ, when the Word become flesh, coming to dwell among mankind as the light of the human race. Christmas, therefore, is a holy day second only to Easter in the Roman calendar. The feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the manifestation of the Lord to the world, marks the end of the Advent-Christmas season. Three mysteries are encompassed in this solemnity: the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, the Baptism of Christ and the wedding feast at Cana.
The season of Christmas ends, and Ordinary Time begins, on the Monday after the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, which signifies the purification of the world, through Christ Himself.
Christmast Mass times at all of our lcoations can be found here.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting that prepares the faithful for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which the faithful attain redemption. Lent lasts for 40 weekdays in remembrance of the 40 days and nights that Christ spent fasting in the desert, tempted by Satan. The beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, therefore comes 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter.
Lenten message from Pope Benedict XVI on the value and meaning of fasting.
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Commemorating the slaying of the true Lamb of God and the Resurrection of Christ, the cornerstone upon which faith is built. It is also the oldest feast of the Christian Church, as old as Christianity, the connecting link between the Old and New Testaments.
The week prior to Easter is called Holy Week; it begins with Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) and culminates with the Triduum. The Triduum (a Latin word for a three-day period) begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of the Thursday of Holy Week and includes Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
The Ascension of the Lord, coming 40 days after Christ rose from the dead on Easter, is the final act of mankind’s redemption that Christ began on Good Friday. Ten days after the Ascension of the Lord, Pentecost marks the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles.
The season of Easter comes to a close, and Ordinary Time returns, on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday.