The Liturgical Year is marked by special seasons—Advent, Christmas, Lent, The Triduum or Three Days, Easter, and Ordinary Time. The Liturgical Year begins on the first Sunday of Advent, which usually occurs around the beginning of December or the end of November, and ends on the feast of Christ the King.
The purpose of the Liturgical Year Calendar is to celebrate and understand more fully the entire mystery of Jesus Christ, from his incarnation and birth until his ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of his return in glory. During the course of a year, the paschal mystery—the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus—is viewed from different angles, in different lights.
Liturgies celebrated during the different seasons of the liturgical year have distinctive music and specific readings, prayers, and rituals. All of these work together to reflect the spirit of the particular season. The colors of the vestments that the priest wears during the liturgy also help express the character of the mysteries being celebrated.
White, the colour of joy and victory, is used for the seasons of Easter and Christmas. It is also used for the feasts of Our Lord, for feasts of Mary, the angels, and for saints who are not martyrs. Gold may also be used on solemn occasions.
Red (the colour of blood) is used on days when we celebrate the passion of Jesus on Passion Sunday and Good Friday. It is also used for the birthday feasts of the apostles and evangelists and for the celebrations of martyrs. Red (the colour of fire) recalls the Holy Spirit and is used on Pentecost and for the sacrament of Confirmation.
Green, seen everywhere in plants and trees, symbolizes life and hope and is used during Ordinary Time.
The colours violet or purple in Advent help us to remember that we are preparing for the coming of Christ. Lent, the season of penance and renewal, also uses the colours violet or purple.
Rose may be used on the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, and on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday. It expresses the joy of anticipation for Christmas and Easter, respectively.
Advent covers the 4 Sundays before Christmas during which we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth and anticipate his coming again at the end of time. The liturgical colour for Advent is violet.
The season of Christmas celebrates Christ’s birth. It runs from 25th December to the feast of the Baptism of the Lord on the Sunday after 6th January. The liturgical colour for the Christmas season is white.
The 6-week preparation for the celebration of Easter, called Lent, begins on Ash Wednesday and finishes on the evening of Holy Thursday. The liturgical colour for Lent is violet
The three days of Easter, known as the Triduum, is celebrated from the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday evening. The joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection continues for the 50-day Easter season from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. The liturgical colour for Easter is white.