Happy New Year!
Beginning of a New Liturgical Year
In our life, we often face new beginnings. These new beginnings help us meet our commitments and responsibilities. Every day is a new beginning with its own routines. Every week is a new beginning, with every week-end enabling us to refresh ourselves and start anew.
Our spiritual lives also have new beginnings to enable us to renew our commitment to our God and to continue our journey to the heavenly Kingdom. As in our practical life, so also in our spiritual life a new day is a new opportunity to dedicate ourselves to God. Liturgically the day begins in the evening, a time to give thanks for the day's blessing and call upon God to help us in our continued spiritual journey.Every week is a new beginning when the Holy Day (Sunday) brings us to church to worship God in community and to receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). What better way to start the week than to be united in love with our brothers and sisters and to be nourished and strengthened by our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Superimposed on these beginnings is the Liturgical Year which begins with the 1st of September (September 14th for those following the Julian Calendar). Throughout the Liturgical year, we have the opportunity and are invited to re-live the story of our salvation as earned for us by our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The liturgical year consists of 2 overlapping cycles:
the cycle of immoveable feast days which fall on specific days of the year (eg. Christmas). This cycle begins with the Feast of the Birth of the Mother of God (September 8/21) and concludes with the Dormition (falling asleep) of the Mother of God (August 15/28). All other major immoveable feast days come within those dates and are often related to one another. For example, the Feast of the Annunciation come nine months before the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.
- the cycle of moveable feast days which are determined by the day on which the Feast of the Resurrection (Easter) is celebrated. ( eg. Feast of the Ascension is celebrated 40 days after Easter). The cycle includes the time of preparation for the great feast of the Resurrection – Pre-Great Fast and Great Fast - and continues through the Easter season, the Descent of the Holy Spirit and the Sundays following all year long. The feast days, in both cycles, which tell the story of Christ's life and His work for our salvation and also the role that the Mother of God played in this story, are not mere commemorations of past events but are rather the Church's effort to immerse us into our own salvation, to be united with God the whole year round.
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