As Catholic Christians, we experience our faith through a year of liturgical seasons – seasons that form and strengthen our faith through repentance, conversion, remembrance, hope and new life.
Every learning opportunity with our students will be within a liturgical season. Our liturgical year helps us better recognise God’s presence in time and celebrates daily the wondrous joy and mystery of Jesus, our Saviour. The Year, as we observe it today, is the result of the Church’s history and tradition.
Our Liturgical Year is organised in a three-year cycle of the readings of Scripture: Years A, B, and C. Year A focusses mainly on the Gospel according to Matthew; Year B focusses on the Gospel according to Mark and Chapter 6 of the Gospel according to John; and Year C focusses on the Gospel according to Luke. During the Easter season in years A, B and C we focus primarily on the Gospel according to John.
The Church year begins with the season of Advent. On November 28, 2010 we began Year A. Through this Advent season we hear about the coming of Jesus at the end of time, the ministry of John the Baptist and Joseph’s dream about Mary. During the Christmas season, we hear about the flight into Egypt and the visit of the Magi. We also hear proclaimed the Gospel about Jesus’ Baptism.
Then follow Ordinary time and Lent. A few weeks of Ordinary Time follow the Christmas Season. We hear about Jesus calling His apostles to follow Him, the proclamation of the Beatitudes, and Jesus’ teachings about the kingdom of God. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. During Lent we hear about Jesus’ temptation in the desert, the Transfiguration, Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus’ healing of a blind man, Jesus’ bringing Lazarus back to life, and Jesus’ Passion.
The Easter Season follows Lent. During this time, the Gospels tell us of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances, His teaching about His love being like that of a Good Shepherd, His promise to prepare a place for us in heaven and to send us an Advocate, His prayer for His disciples, and His Ascension. On Pentecost the Gospel tells us of Jesus appearing to Mary and the apostles in the upper room.
Following the Easter season, we return to Ordinary time for the remainder of the liturgical year. Through these weeks and months, the Gospels tell us of Jesus teachings and relate many of His parables. We also hear about Jesus’ miracles, healing ministry, and the instructions He gives His followers about discipleship.
Lesson on the CHURCH’S LITURGICAL YEAR 2010 – 2011
Introduce the calendar by explaining that the Church year is arranged in seasons and that this liturgical year calendar will help the class anticipate the seasons.
Show students each of the liturgical seasons (around the outside edge). Point to the word ADVENT and explain that Advent is the first season in the Church year. See if students can name what season we are in when the Church year ends.
Invite a student to name the first Sunday and the date of the start of the 2010-2011 liturgical year.
Invite another student to name the last Sunday and the date of the end of the 2010 – 2011 liturgical year.
Explain the liturgical colours. (Purple in Advent and Lent, symbolises penance and preparation; white in Christmas Time and Easter Time, symbolises innocence and joy; green in Ordinary Time, symbolises hope.)
Tell students that each year the Church focusses on a particular Gospel more than the other gospels, and that this year the Gospel of Matthew will be the main gospel we hear proclaimed. Share some information about Matthew.
With the students explore each liturgical season to see which Gospel is the main one proclaimed.
Have a student locate the Triduum and name the date of Easter this year. Explain that the days of the Triduum are counted according to the Jewish custom of measuring days from sunset to sunset. The first day of the Triduum begins at sunset on Holy Thursday and ends at sunset on Good Friday. The second day begins at sunset on Good Friday and ends at sunset on Holy Saturday. The third day begins at sunset on Holy Saturday and ends at sunset on Easter Sunday.
Have students find the number of weeks in each season of this liturgical year 2010 – 2011.
Have students determine the date for the start and end of each season of this liturgical year.
(Source Catechist magazine)