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Quick Info on The Liturgical Year

We are in the Liturgical Season of Ordinary Time


October 24th, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Advent also marks the transition from one reading cycle (A, B, or C) to the next.  These cycles are a result of the Second Vatican Council, which ordered a change in the Sunday readings at Mass so that Catholics would become more familiar with the text of the Bible. As a result, we now have a three-year cycle of readings built around readings from the three synoptic Gospels—Matthew (Year A), Mark (Year B), and Luke (Year C).  Through the three cycles of readings, we also see a fuller view of the different characteristics of Christ's ministry that he is inviting us into.


We will move into the new Liturgical year on November 28, 2021 this calendar year, the 1st Sunday of Advent.  

For more resources on the Liturgical Seasons, look on the left side menu of the page for Resources for Parents - Making Faith Alive in Our Home, or by clicking here.

Liturgical Year Readings Cycles

2019 — Cycle C       2020 — Cycle A

2021 — Cycle B       2022 — Cycle C

2023 — Cycle A       2024 — Cycle B

2025 — Cycle C       2026 — Cycle A

Year A mostly features the Gospel according to Matthew; Year B reads through the Gospel according to Mark; and Year C showcases the Gospel according to Luke.

The Liturgical Calendar from the USCCB (Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

The liturgical year is made up of six seasons: Advent, Christmas Time, Lent, Sacred Paschal Triduum, Easter Time, and Ordinary Time.

Advent— four weeks of preparation before the celebration of Jesus' birth.  Advent challenges us to quiet our minds, to empty ourselves and make room for the new.  It stands in direct contrast to the noise and frenzy of the holiday season.

Christmas Time — recalling the Nativity of Jesus Christ and his manifestation to the peoples of the world.

Christmas — The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Lent — a six-week period of prayer, penance, sacrifice, and good works 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 Time — 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.  Although it might come as a surprise, Ordinary Time is not called “ordinary” based on its level of importance.  The origin of the name Ordinary Time comes from the Latin word ordinalis, which means “numbered.” Ordinary Time, which occurs between Christmas and Lent, then again between Easter and Advent, signifies a numbered (or ordered) list of Sundays that anchor our daily lives in the Catholic Church.

The mystery of Christ, unfolded through the cycle of the year, calls us to live his mystery in our own lives. This call is best illustrated in the lives of Mary and the saints, celebrated by the Church throughout the year. There is no tension between the mystery of Christ and the celebration of the saints, but rather a marvelous harmony. The Blessed Virgin Mary is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son, and the feasts of all the saints proclaim the wonderful works of Christ in his servants and offer the faithful fitting examples for their imitation.

Each liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent during the preceding calendar year (i.e., the First Sunday of Advent in 2020 began the 2021 liturgical year).

Seasons, saints, and celebrations during the liturgical year are laid out in a yearly liturgical calendar.

Holy Days of Obligation as prescribed by the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), states in part:

The organization of each liturgical year is governed by the Church and ultimately integrated into a liturgical calendar.

The Second Vatican Council brought renewed emphasis to Sunday as a unique liturgical category: "the Lord's day is the original feast day" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 106), and it "must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation" (Code of Canon Law, canon 1246 §1). Thus, only a limited number of feasts of the Lord or the saints may take the place of the scheduled Sunday celebration.

Saints and other celebrations are distinguished in accordance with the importance assigned to each one: each is a Solemnity, Feast, or Memorial. Sundays and Solemnities begin their celebration on the evening before, Feasts and Memorials are celebrated over the course of one day, and Memorials are either Obligatory or Optional.

Finally, holy days of obligation (also known as feasts of precept) are days when the faithful are obliged to participate in Mass and abstain from unnecessary work or other activities which hinder the suitable relaxation of mind and body. Each Sunday is a holy day of obligation, and six Solemnities are also observed as feasts of precept in the United States.


In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:

January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension
August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 1, the solemnity of All Saints
December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated."




The Liturgical Year — Catholic Central


Ordinary Time: What Does It Mean? When Is It? — The Religion Teacher


A Season for Everything — Ascension Presents — Fr. Mike Schmitz — The Church in its great wisdom has designed the liturgical calendar with the human spirit in mind. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz explores the reasons for the seasons in the Church's calendar, with particular attention to the seasons of Advent and Christmas.


LENT FAQ with Joe Paprocki




Holy Week and Hope - Fr. Mike Schmitz


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Fr. Mike's Easter Special





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