Liturgical Year

The great day is finally here: Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. More important even than Christmas. What happened on this day? Was Jesus’ resurrection a real, historical event? How does the Church celebrate this day? Is Easter a pagan holiday? Here are 8 things you need to know.   1. What […]

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Everytime we say the creed, we note that Jesus “descended into hell.” Holy Saturday is the day that commemorates this event. What happened on this day, and how do we celebrate it? Here are 12 things you need to know.   1. What happened on the first Holy Saturday? Here on earth, Jesus’ disciples mourned […]

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Good Friday is the most somber day of the Christian year. It is the day our Savior died for us. It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God Himself at the hands of man. Here are 9 things you need to know.   1. Why is this […]

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Palm Sunday–or is it Passion Sunday?–marks the beginning of Holy Week. This day commemorates not one but two very significant events in the life of Christ. Here are 9 things you need to know.   1. What is this day called? The day is called both “Palm Sunday” and “Passion Sunday.” The first name comes […]

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The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean? Here are 10 things you need to know.   1. What does the word “transfiguration” mean? The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots trans- […]

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Recently there was some discussion on Facebook of how ashes should be placed on the head, with some folks thinking that the form of the cross is mandatory. It isn’t. There is no set form, and in some countries–like Italy–the norm is to sprinkle ashes on the top of the head. Today I ran across […]

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This Sunday is the first Sunday of Lent, and we read about events that occurred at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Following his baptism, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness—his own, personal equivalent of Lent. It was a time of preparation for the beginning of his public preaching in Galilee. Here are 9 […]

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Ash Wednesday is upon us again! Here are 9 things you need to know and share . . .   1. What is Ash Wednesday? Ash Wednesday is the day that Lent begins (see: 9 things you need to know about Lent). The name comes from the fact that a particular rite is always celebrated on […]

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1. What is Lent? According to the Universal Norms for the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar [.pdf]: 27. Lent [is a liturgical season that] is ordered to preparing for the celebration of Easter, since the lenten liturgy prepares for celebration of the paschal mystery both catechumens, by the various stages of Christian initiation, and the faithful, […]

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A reader writes: Jimmy could you please tell us about the origin of the word “Christmas? What did the first Christians call what we today know as Christmas? Is writing X’mas okay? As in today’s language X means “nothing.” I know that X is the 22nd letter of Greek alphabet known as chi. This chi […]

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