Seasons of the Church Year

"The liturgical year is the year that sets out to attune the life of the Christian to the life of Jesus, the Christ. It proposes, year after year, to immerse us over and over again into the sense and substance of the Christian life until, eventually we become what we say we are – followers of Jesus all the way to the heart of God."
- Joan Chittister

what is the liturgical calendar?

The liturgical or Church year is how many Christians mark time and celebrate the story of Christ and his Church. This annual rhythm is divided into several seasons.

The Incarnation Cycle begins with Advent, anticipating Christ among us, moves into Christmas, celebrating his arrival, and then Epiphany, when we remember all the ways Jesus was revealed as Messiah.

The Pascal Cycle begins with Lent, a fasting time preparing us for Easter, which celebrates Jesus’s resurrection, leading forward to his Ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church at Pentecost.

‘Ordinary time’ then resumes until the end of the year.

why is celebrating the seasons of the church important?

The seasons of the Liturgical Year orient the Church and our life of discipleship as we follow Christ through our own seasons of life.  Each season and celebration offers us perspective, truth and encouragement on our particular faith journey.  

how do we celebrate the seasons of the church year?

Each season offers unique opportunities for contemplation, fasting and feasting. Many of these practices we do as a Church and there are several that are well suited for home and personal edification. We have listed a few favorites for each season and hope you find something new to put into practice.

Incarnation Cycle

We prepare and wait for Christ in Advent.

We celebrate God with us during Christmas.

We acclaim Christ revealed in Epiphany.

Pascal Cycle

We fast and repent in Lent.

We walk with Christ through his last week on Earth during Holy Week.

We celebrate Christ raised from the dead during the feasting Season of Easter.

Ordinary Time

In Ordinary Time, we cultivate the life of Jesus in us and live out our calling in the world.

Learn More

Visit our Resource Page for recommendations for further learning.