THE LITURGICAL YEAR
Since the Church is born of the Pasch of Christ, it is natural that the whole time of the Church, the liturgical year be a preparation and an extension of this central and fundamental event. So the LY is the structure within which the Church celebrates the various aspects of the Paschal Mystery (Christs life, passion, death, and resurrection); the mystery of redemption; the riches of her Lords powers and merits. So that they are in some way made present for all time and the faithful enter in contact with them, and are filled with the saving grace.
At the beginning of the Christian Liturgy we find the Sunday Day of the Lord the first day of the week, the day of the resurrection, and the day on which we regularly celebrate the weekly celebration of the Paschal mystery. Sunday is the original holy day. All other feasts and solemnities flow from our original celebration of Sunday. The Sundays of Advent, Lent and Easter, take precedence over all the solemnities and feasts of the Lord, when they occur on these Sundays they are observed on the Saturday preceding Sunday excludes any other celebrations being permanently assigned to it except the following:
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Sunday followed by 6th Jan.)
Solemnity of the holy Trinity (Sunday after Pentecost)
Solemnity of Christ the King (Last Sunday of the Year)
The annual celebration of the Easter was at first a two-day and then a three-day celebration, which we now call the Triduum. The forty days of Lent is a preparation for the Triduum and a time of fasting and prayer for those who would be initiated into the church at the Easter Vigil. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday exclusive of the Lords Supper. It is marked by two themes, the baptismal and the penitential. By recalling or preparing for baptism and by repentance, this season disposes the faithful to listen to the Word of God and devote themselves in prayer, fasting, abstinence, works of charity etc.
During the five Sundays that precedes the Palm Sunday the Lectionary offers three itinerary (route) in three cycles, constructed around the Gospel texts. (First two Sundays of all three cycles concentrated on Jesus tempted and transfigured)
The Pentecost seasonthe fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sundayalso developed from the Triduum as a way to emphasize the importance of Easter and as a time of sacramental catechesis for the newly initiated.