THE LITURGICAL YEAR
Each year, the Church brings to our attention the principal events in the life of Our Lord and his Mother, the achievements of the saints, and the theological doctrines of the Faith. This annual cycle of feasts, fasts and commemorations is called the liturgical year.
The celebration of the Liturgical Year, which starts on September 1st, is meant to draw us into the Mystery of Christ, helping us to experience His divine life more fully and deeply. Throughout the year the people of God journey together in the steps of our Lord, from His incarnation to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.
The Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, called Pascha (Easter), is the greatest of all holy days and as such it is called the “feast of feasts”. During the Liturgical Year there are eight additional great feasts in honour of our Lord and four great feasts in honour of His Mother. While Church tradition emphasizes the importance of these feast days, there are 6 obligatory holy days in addition to Sundays. These are:
Nativity of Our Lord - Christmas Day - December 25
Theophany of Our Lord - January 6
Annunciation - March 25
Ascension of Our Lord - 40 days after Pascha (Easter)
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul - June 29
Dormition of the Mother of God - August 15
* Signifies a Holy Day of Obligation beyond Sundays
The Great Feasts are designated in bold.