Special Days and the Cycles of Scripture Readings

The Church Year

We’re looking at the seasons of the Church year and what is part of each season. The year begins with Advent (Dec 1, 2019), then Christmas (Dec 25, 2019), Ordinary Time (Jan 13-Feb 25, 2020), Lent (Feb 26-April 9, 2020), Triduum (April 9- 12, 2020), Easter (April 13-May 31, 2020), and Ordinary Time(June 1- Nov 28, 2020) again.

In each season we have feasts and fasts to celebrate and observe. Some change depending on where you live. However, in the universal Church we celebrate these 6 Solemnities: Mary, Mother of God, Jan 1; the Ascension, 40 Days

 

after Easter or the 7th Sunday after Easter (varies according to your diocese), the Assumption, Aug 15; All Saints, Nov 1; Immaculate Conception, Dec 8 and Christmas, Dec. 25. These days, along with every Sunday are considered Holy Days of Obligation which means we are asked to attend Mass. Easter is always on a Sunday which is why it isn’t included here.

Saints and Feast Days

Other days of celebration are feast days which are the days we remember a particular saint. If the saint or group of saints have universal significance in the Church, then it is celebrated as a memorial. This means the saint is r

emembered at Mass with prayers or change in the color of the vestments the priest wears. For example, if the saint was martyred the color red is worn.

Scripture Readings for Mass

Our Mass readings are organized for both Sunday and Daily Masses. The entire Church follows the same cycle. On Sundays we have A, B, C; weekdays I and II. This year we are in cycle A which focuses on the Gospel of Matthew. Cycle B focus on Mark and adds John 6, cycle C is Luke. During the Easter season, we read from John’s Gospel on both Sunday and daily Masses. The weekday cycle follows the same order for both years, Mark, Matthew and Luke.

One difference in scripture between Sunday and daily Mass is the number of readings. On Sunday we have a first reading, usually from the Old Testament, then a psalm, a second reading from the New Testament, but not a Gospel and then the Gospel. During the week, we have one reading, a psalm and then the Gospel.

Links

Complete Liturgical Year calendar

Daily Readings Calendar

the not lukewarm challengeWe’re continuing with our challenge of reading one chapter of Matthew each day. What was your favorite verse last week? Mine was Matthew 7:12.

 

The Seasons of the Church Year

The Catholic Church has seasons, just like the natural world does. Our seasons are based on what is happening in the Church as to what season it is. We have 6 seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Paschal Triduum, Easter and Ordinary Time.church year in seasons Ordinary time occurs twice, between Christmas and Lent and then again between Easter and Advent.

 

During Ordinary Time this year we are reading from the Gospel of Matthew on Sundays. This is my favorite time of year. It is a time to really learn who Jesus is through the gospel readings and learn about all that he did while in his ministry. It is a chance to hear the parables, to learn how to follow Jesus, and to be reminded of what makes a disciple.

A Time for Everything

The Church year has times of feasting and fasting, celebrating and slowing down. There are times to be still and times of activity. And just as in the natural world we have visual clues as to the season, the same in the Church. Each season has a color associated with it, green, purple, rose, white/gold, and red all have their place. Green is used in Ordinary Time, purple/rose for Advent and Lent, Christmas and Easter celebrations are white or gold and red is used on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Pentecost.

Our readings also follow a cycle, we have 3 for Sundays, A, B, and C and 2 for daily Mass, 1 and 2. This year, we are in cycle A for Sunday Mass, which is the Gospel of Matthew.

the not lukewarm challenge

Our challenge is to read Matthew’s Gospel. Each day, from Jan. 10 to Feb. 6 read one chapter. As you read, underline or make note of verses, phrases or words that strike you. What is God trying to tell you? At the end of our reading, we’ll talk about looking back and finding a verse to guide you in your walk this year or maybe as your life verse. I think the few minutes spent each day reading God’s words will be a true blessing to you.