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Liturgical Seasons

There are many different events in the Catholic Church, such as Easter, Christmas, Lent and Advent. These are different times that the Church wants us to stop and reflect on the life or Jesus and on our own lives. The Church calls these time the liturgical seasons. 

These seasons aren't the seasons that we have in our normal lives, like spring, summer, autumn and winter. Liturgical seasons are all about Jesus and the Church. The Liturgical Seasons fit into a yearly church calendar, which is called the Liturgical Church Calendar. 

There are 5 different liturgical seasons in the Church. These are Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent and Easter. Each season lasts for different lengths, some are a few weeks, and some go for a few months. The 5 liturgical seasons are repeated each year, but sometimes the starting date for a season may change, such as Lent or Easter.

There are also special days within the liturgical seasons that we celebrate throughout the year. These are called feast days. Some feast days include Corpus Christi, All Saints Day, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Trinity Sunday, and so on.

 

Have a look below at the different liturgical seasons and what they mean to us as Catholics.  

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Advent

Season Colour: Purple (Rose pink on 3rd Sunday)

Length of Season: 4 weeks in the lead up to Christmas

The meaning for the season: The time of advent is a waiting period for the coming of the Lord into the world. Catholics and other Christians look forward with joy and hope during this season and use it as a time to refresh ourselves and grow closer to the Lord through prayer and repentance. Each week there is special candle that symbolises a certain trait of the Christian life. These are hope, peace, love and joy. Each week of advent we reflect on these 4 traits and remember the hope, peace, love and joy that God gives to us through Jesus Christ. 

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Christmas

Season Colour: White and/or Gold

Length of Season: Commonly seen as 12 days 

The meaning for the season: At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. We say thank you to God for bringing Himself down to us in human form so that we can know and love God even more. The colour of this season is white and gold because it's a joyful season in the Church.

During the Christmas season we also remember the visit from the wise men (Magi), the Holy Family's escape into Egypt, and the young lives lost in the King Herod's murder of the innocent children. 

At Christmas we typically give presents to the people around us to remember the big gift to the world that God gave us - sending Jesus to us to save us. 

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Ordinary Time

Season Colour: Green

Length of Season: split into two different times of the year. Around 4-8 weeks between Christmas and Lent, and 6 months between Easter and Advent. 

The meaning for the season: We remember and reflect on Jesus' public ministry, learning about the big and small miracles that he preformed. We are remained in this season to follow Christ in his actions and to be a good witness to others. We are asked by God to tell people about Jesus, and the good news of salvation. The colour green remains us of our spiritual growth. 

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Lent

Season Colour: Purple (Rose pink on 4th Sunday)

Length of Season: 40 days 

The meaning for the season: During the season of Lent we reflect on Jesus' time in the desert and the temptation from the devil. Catholics give up certain things like food and playing games as a little sacrifice to become closer to God. In Lent Catholics are encouraged to give money to charities (almsgiving) and to go to the sacrament of reconciliation. Lent is the time before Easter. Purple is the colour of Lent because it symbolises repentance and penance. 

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Holy Week

Season Colour: Red or Purple

Length of Season: 1 week, (Easter Triduum included)

The meaning for the season: Holy Week is the most important time in the Church Calendar. Each day in Holy Week we go through the last week of Jesus' time on earth. We start Holy Week on Palm Sunday and finish on Holy Saturday (the night before Easter Sunday). Holy Week is included in the season of Lent.

Good Friday is one of the most important day in the Church calendar, because it is the day when Jesus died for us. On Good Friday, Catholics don't eat any meat, and we go to a special Church service called the Stations of the Cross to remember the sacrifice and love that God had for us.The colours on Palm Sunday and Good Friday are red, because the colour red reminds us of passion and blood. 

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Easter

Season Colour: White and/or Gold

Length of Season: 50 days 

The meaning for the season: Easter starts straight after Lent on the night of Holy Saturday. Easter is the most joyful time in the Christian calendar because it was the time that Jesus rose from the dead. The resurrection is very important because Jesus defeated death, and because of that we have hope that we who believe in Jesus can defeat death and live with God forever in Heaven. The death and resurrection of Christ is why Jesus came to the world in the first place - to save us from sin; and allow us to be together with God forever in Heaven if we choose to follow Him. 

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