Celebrating the Liturgical Year
What is the Liturgical Year?
The liturgical year is a cycle that keeps repeating itself year after year, but, from a spiritual standpoint, it is always new because it continues to draw us more deeply into our relationship with Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that each liturgical year becomes for us a “year of the Lord’s favor” (No. 1168).
Unlike the secular year, which marks the passage of time, the liturgical year celebrates the sacred mysteries of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It includes the feast of the Ascension, when Jesus returned to heaven with the promise that he would come again, and Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles.
ADVENT IS THE FIRST SEASON
It is a time of waiting for the birth of the Messiah. There are four Sundays in Advent. You’ll notice at Mass that the colors used for vestments and altar cloths during Advent are violet or dark violet, with pink on the Third Sunday of Advent to symbolize hope. The readings and the music during Advent reflect this spirit of anticipation and longing for the coming of the Lord.
During Advent children across the school make an Advent promise. The children all make a bauble, for the Advent service, which is sent to St. Mary’s Church where the parishioners can take one for their tree if they would like.
Christmas Eve marks the beginning of the Christmas season in the church, which lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January. White or gold are the colors used for vestments and altar cloths. The readings, the music and the decorations in the church project joy and a sense of celebration.
Children across the school took part in a nativity that was shared with the parents virtually. We ensure at St Mary’s that the children understand the true meaning of Christmas. We held a competition whereby the children had to design a banner that demonstrated to our community the true meaning of Christmas.
Ordinary time follows the Christmas season. It begins on the Monday after the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and ends when Lent begins. A second period of Ordinary Time follows Pentecost and continues until the beginning of Advent. The color green, a symbol of hope, is used for vestments and altar cloths during Ordinary Time. Throughout Ordinary Time, the story of Jesus’ life and ministry continues to unfold.
Look at the ideas below can you create a piece of artwork that shows us some of the symbolism that we see in the Bible stories?
The Feast Day of St Joseph – March 19th
The children were asked to wear red clothes to mark the Feast Day of St Joseph. In the afternoon the whole school took part in a prayer and liturgy about St Joseph led by our head boy and head girl.
Lent is the time of year when Christians prepare for Easter. It lasts for 40 days and ends 9 days before Easter, on a Friday. During Lent, many Christians fast, or go without regular meals. They do this in memory of Jesus Christ, who is said to have fasted for 40 days in the desert.
Stations of the Cross
Every Lent, during Holy Week, we have a Stations of the Cross liturgy. Each class creates a piece of art work linked to one of the Stations of the Cross and then the whole school present their work. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made to save us from our sins.
The head boy and head girl have been working closely with Father Kevan Dorgan. They have written prayers for the church bulletin during Lent and a special prayer for Easter Sunday. Here are two examples of them below.
Easter is the greatest celebration in the Catholic Church because it is the completion of the Holy week that ends with the resurrection of Jesus. Easter celebrates the beginning and foundation of Christianity. Jesus was raised from the dead, and it goes to show that He conquered sin and death.Children were taking part in an Easter story role play this afternoon.
Our EYFS friends have been role playing the Easter story. They took on the roles of Jesus, Mary and the soldiers.
Ascension Day – Prayer and Liturgy – Year 4
The Year 4 did a whole school prayer and liturgy via zoom on Ascension Day. This was also shared to our parents on Seesaw. The children thought carefully about this important time in the churches calendar.
Year 5 – Prayer and Liturgy Pentecost
The children in year 5 led a prayer and liturgy for the whole school based on Pentecost. They also shared it with parents on Seesaw.
May is the month of Mary
Children across the school made flowers ready for our May Day procession. The Year 6 then led us in a Prayer and Liturgy based on our special saint – Mary.