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Saturday, October 10, 2015

How the liturgical year gives shape and form to the Christian way of life.

Our calendars, time pieces, and work schedules make up a great part of our daily lives. Without these conveniences present to aide us in the formation of our time much would be left to chance. Often
times that chance is just an opportunity for chaos and disorder. Without the benefit of regulation things would go undone, and time would be misspent. Following this same train of thought, it would stand to reason that a schedule of our religious and spiritual observations would be significantly more important. The Church Year and our Christian way of life is regulated by such a schedule. It is our Liturgical Calendar.
The Gregorian Calendar starts with January; a winter month. Advent, four weeks prior to Christmas and the first season of our Church Calendar, is also a winter celebration. During Advent we prepare for the arrival of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Following Advent we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas. The Christmastide season is celebrated from Christmas Eve until the Feast of the Epiphany around the sixth of January. Following the Epiphany is followed by several weeks of Ordinary Time leading up to the Lenten Season, in which we prepare for Easter. Prior to Easter we celebrate the Pachal Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. These holy days culminate with Easter in which we celebrate Jesus' return from the dead. Following Easter, the Liturgical Calendar is in Ordinary time until the return of Advent.
Within these Liturgical seasons are a myriad of various feast days, Holy Days of Obligation, and celebrations of Saints. While our collective work schedules may be essential for both social and financial security, the Liturgical Calendar is essential to our spiritual well being in living a state of life in Christ. In celebrating the events chronicled throughout our Church Calendar we draw ourselves nearer to Christ. Each Celebration is an opportunity for contemplation of God. The flow of the Liturgical Calendar takes us on a journey in which we follow Christ through His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. It allows us to not only try to live the same type of life as Christ, but to contemplate the actuality of His life chronologically each year.