Liturgical Seasons

Posts published on The Good Disciple explore the meaning of Christian discipleship in the context of contemporary life. Each reflection follows the cycle of readings for Sundays found in the Revised Common Lectionary. These readings are shared by many liturgy-based Christian denominations. A general understanding of the liturgical cycle can be helpful to readers who contemplate the Sunday readings in advance of weekly worship services and liturgies.

The liturgical cycle includes three years (A, B, and C), and a two-year weekday cycle (Year I and Year II) during which Ordinary Time, as it is called, begins and pauses after and before the major seasons of the liturgical year (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Triduum, and Easter Time). But don’t be fooled, Ordinary Time is not “ordinary.” It is a profound opportunity to slowly absorb the wisdom of the Old and New Testament and allow the voices of the Sacred writers to saturate and transform our day-to-day activities.

On Sundays of ordinary time we read mostly from the particular Gospel for that cycle, (Year A=Matthew, Year B= Mark, Year C=Luke). The Gospel of John is also read at various times throughout the year, primarily during Easter Time. On weekdays during ordinary time, the Gospel readings cycle first through Mark, then Matthew, and finally Luke. On occasion, The Good Disciple will publish mid-week reflections on the weekday readings. These reflections are organized under the Liturgical Year heading according to the particular year, A, B, C, or can be found using the blog’s search engine. Simply do a quick search of the particular theme or scriptural reference.

The liturgical year itself is made up of six seasons: (click the links for more detailed information from the USCCB, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

  1. Advent: the four weeks leading up to Christmas
  2. Christmas Time: continues for three Sundays after Christmas (The Feast of the Holy Family, The Epiphany, and Jesus’ baptism)
  3. Lent: a six-week period of penance before Easter; begins with Ash Wednesday
  4. The Triduum– Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday
  5. Easter Time– the 50 days of Easter celebration, which conclude with Pentecost.
  6. Ordinary Time– the “teaching” time of 4-6 weeks between Christmas Time and Lent, and after Pentecost until the end of the calendar year, generally 34 Sundays in total.