Liturgical Seasons

Seasons of the Liturgical Year

EASTER - THE 50 DAY LONG FEAST

Alleluia! Alleluia! He is Risen!

The fifty-day feast of Easter developed from the harvest feast of ancient Israel known as "Shavuot," or the "Feast of Weeks." It was a period of seven weeks (a "week of weeks") plus one day, beginning with Passover and concluding with the fiftieth day, the day of Pentecost. The fiftieth day marked the end of the barley harvest and included an offering of the first fruits. By the time of Jesus, this festival also had become a celebration of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.

The themes of harvest, Exodus and the Law also became part of the Christian celebration. Christians celebrated the Passover of Jesus through death to new life and the Covenant that was established in him. Images of Christ as paschal Lamb and as first fruits are the earliest Easter images used by St. Paul.

Easter was the first of our feasts to develop beyond the weekly Sunday celebration. This fifty-day period of rejoicing seems to have been adopted by all Christian communities by the second century. Within a few centuries, however, the unity of the feast began to weaken, and the resurrection, the ascension, and the descent of the Holy Spirit began to be celebrated separately. Easter and Pentecost became two separate days rather than the two names for the same fifty-day period. Only in our own time has the unity of this celebration been reestablished, at least in the liturgical books. The pastoral challenge is to reestablish it in the minds and hearts of the parish, and the best way to do that is by celebrating the whole feast well.

Lent 2017: March 1st - April 14th


Lent 2017: March 1st - April 14th

Lent is a time of good resolutions and new beginnings. Lent is a season of repentance and a season of hope. In Lent we reconnect with our baptismal spirituality as the Lenten practices help us to prepare to renew our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday. The goal of Lent is Easter.

The word Lent means springtime. This word comes from the same root as lengthen. Daytime lengthens during Lent. The northern hemisphere turns toward the sun, the source of life, and winter turns into spring. In Hebrew, the word for repentance is the same as the word that means to turn, like the turning of the earth to the sun, like the turning of the soil before planting.

Ash Wednesday - March 1
Masses with Distribution of Ashes 7:30AM and 11:30AM
Prayer Services with Distribution of Ashes 4:00PM and 7:30PM
Calendar of Lenten Events at St. Thomas

Lenten Regulations

Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7:30PM
Reconciliation on Saturdays at 11:00AM.
Pray the Stations at home the rest of the week with this video.
Prayer Life Resources on the STA website
Prayer Life Resources external to the STA website

 


Christmas Liturgical Season

The Christmas Liturgical Season begins on Christmas Eve, include the Feast of the Holy Family the following Sunday, the Solemnity of Mary (January 1st), and the Solemnity of the Epiphany the following Sunday.  The Christmas season continues through feast of the Baptism of Jesus.

Advent - Liturgical Season

Sunday November 27, 2016 through Thursday December 25, 2016

Advent marks the beginning of the new liturgical year. We prepare for the annual celebrations of Christ's incarnation at Christmas, his manifestation at Epiphany, and the beginning of his mission at the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Advent means "coming." We are to prepare for the coming of God among us as a child who is a King, as an infant who is a Savior, as one born at a given time and place yet who is a Messiah for all ages and people.

Advent has a two-fold character: as a season to prepare us for Christmas when Christ's first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.

Ordinary Time

Christmas Time and Easter Time highlight the central mysteries of the Paschal Mystery, namely, the incarnation, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time, on the other hand, take us through the life of Christ. This is the time of conversion. This is living the life of Christ.

Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. (1)

(1) Taken from US Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

Triduum

Triduum is the Liturgical Season between Lent and Easter.  It begins in Holy Week with the Holy Thursday Mass in the evening.  It includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  It continues until the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening.

Ordinary Time

Ordinay Time begins after the Christmas season with the feast of the Baptism of Jesus.  It continues until the begining of Lent on Ash Wednesday.  Ordinary Time continues after Pentecost which closes the the Easter Season 50 days after Easter Sunday.  Oridnary Time ends with the feast of Christ the King, usually in November. The following week begins the new Liturigcal Season with the Advent Liturgical Season.

Advent

Advent marks the beginning of the new liturgical year. We prepare for the annual celebrations of Christ's incarnation at Christmas, his manifestation at Epiphany, and the beginning of his mission at the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Advent means "coming." We are to prepare for the coming of God among us as a child who is a King, as an infant who is a Savior, as one born at a given time and place yet who is a Messiah for all ages and people.

Advent has a two-fold character: as a season to prepare us for Christmas when Christ's first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation.