Liturgical Year
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Liturgical Year

The Catholic life of our schools is centred around the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. All of our liturgies follow these themes.

Advent 2016

27th November – First Sunday of Advent
4th Dec – Second Sunday of Advent
8th Dec – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
11th Dec – Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)
18th Dec – Fourth Sunday of Advent

In the Catholic Church, Advent is a period of preparation, over four Sundays, before Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, "to come to," and refers to the coming of Christ.  We celebrate the coming of Christ’s birth at Christmas, the coming of Christ in our lives through grace and the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and  His Second Coming at the end of time.

Advent in school is a special time for us. During Advent we prepare ourselves through prayer, repentance and acts of charity so that we are ready for the coming of Jesus. We do this primarily through prayer. We pray in different ways together as a class and collectively as a school.

The liturgical colour used during Advent is purple.

The Season of Christmas
‘Christ’ Mass

24th Dec  – Christmas Eve
25th Dec  – The Nativity of Our Lord
1st January - Second Sunday of Christmas
6th January – The Epiphany of the Lord
8th Jan – The Baptism of the Lord

Christmas is the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus, God sending his Son to the world and His Baptism. The Christmas Season begins on Christmas Eve and ends on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The word Christmas derives from the combination of Christ and Mass, it is the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The season of Christmas is second most important season in the liturgical calendar with Easter being the first.

Christmas in school is celebrated both before and after the liturgical season as we are on holiday at that time. We retell the Christmas story in our Nativity plays and liturgies before we break up. When we return in the spring term we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany and learn how it is now that the true work of Christmas begins.

The liturgical colour used at Christmas is white.

Ordinary Time

22nd Jan – 3rd Sunday – 26th Feb - 8th Sunday
29th June – Ss Peter and Paul, Apostles
15th Aug – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1st Nov – All Saint’s Day
2nd Nov – All Soul’s Day

Ordinary time is technically one liturgical season, though it is divided into two periods. The first begins after the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and lasts until the day before Ash Wednesday, which is Shrove Tuesday. This period of Ordinary Time focuses on the childhood of Jesus and then on the public ministry of Christ. The second period lasts from the day after Pentecost through the final day before Advent. Because this portion of Ordinary Time occurs after the celebrations of Jesus’s Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, this part of Ordinary Time is focused on the church today as we prepare for the second coming of Christ.  

In school we use Ordinary time to focus on the Word of God and learn how it is that we should live as his followers.

The liturgical colour for Ordinary time is green.

The season of Lent

1st March – Ash Wednesday
5th March – First Sunday of Lent
12th March – Second Sunday of Lent
19th March – Third Sunday of Lent
26th March – Fourth Sunday of Lent
1st April – Fifth Sunday of Lent
9th April – Passion Sunday/Palm Sunday
13th April – Maundy Thursday
14th April – Good Friday
15th April – Holy Saturday

Lent is the 40 day period before Easter. It is a time to remember the time Jesus spent in the desert in fasting and prayer. For us too it is a time of fasting and prayer. It is time to turn away from our sin and turn towards God.

In school the season gives us the opportunity to reflect upon our lives and make changes for the better, through showing our love for God and to others.

The liturgical colour for Lent is purple.

Holy Week and the Triduum

Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Holy Week includes Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday) and Good Friday, which, together with Holy Saturday, are known as the Triduum.

During Holy Week, we commemorate the Passion of Christ, Who died on Good Friday in reparation for the sins of mankind, and rose on Easter Sunday to give new life to all who believe.

We always celebrate Holy Week in school even if it means moving it forward a week due to school holidays. It is a solemn and sorrowful time when we retell the story of the last days of Jesus life before he died on the cross for us through prayer and devotion. We celebrate a special Mass in St. Paul’s Church beginning with the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem, through to the Last Supper, The Agony in the Garden, the Crucifixion and to the Laying of the Body in the tomb. We do this in the spirit of anticipation of the joy of the Resurrection at Easter.

The Easter Season

15th April – The Easter Vigil
16th April – Easter Sunday
23rd April – The second Sunday of Easter
30th April – The Third Sunday of Easter
7th May – The Fourth Sunday of Easter
14th May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter
21st May – The Sixth Sunday of Easter
28th May – The Ascension of the Lord

The celebration of the Easter Vigil is the beginning of the season of Easter. The Vigil is the feast of new birth, new beginnings, and salvation. It is the beginning of a new season of grace and a time of joy and thanksgiving.  Easter is a fifty day celebration that ends on Pentecost.

In school we celebrate Easter with joy. We celebrate new life in the Risen Christ. We begin our celebrations in school with the lighting of a new fire, renewal of baptismal promises and receiving the light of Christ into our hearts. We sing ‘Alleluia’ with great gusto as we have been starved of this during Lent! We learn how to be an ‘Easter people’ and try to give witness to the Risen Christ through our words and actions towards others.

Veni Sancte Spiritus

4th June – Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church. It is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter.

The Acts of the Apostles recounts the story of the original Pentecost. Jews from all over were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish feast. On that daythe Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary were gathered in the Upper Room, where they had seen Christ after His Resurrection:

Christ had promised His Apostles that He would send His Holy Spirit, and, on Pentecost, they were granted the gifts of the Spirit. The Apostles began to preach the Gospel in many different languages.

Pentecost is often called "the birthday of the Church." On this dayChrist's mission is completed, and the New Covenant begins.

In school we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit after a time of anticipation of the gift that Jesus promised. We spend time in prayer invoking the Holy Spirit. We consider the gifts we receive and how we can use them for the good of our school community and the wider world.

The liturgical colour use at Pentecost is red.