Liturgical Seasons at St Michael Parish

Explore the seasons of faith

Advent 2019 – Our Advent Theme

The Church begins a new Liturgical Year on the First Sunday of Advent on December 1, 2019. During the subsequent four weeks, she prepares with mounting expectation for the coming of Christ in a spirit of waiting, conversion and hope.

OUR THEME 2019 – Each Advent and Lent, St. Michael’s Worship Commission meets to discern a focus for the season. This year’s focus is “Sharing in the Grace of Apostleship.” Each week we will flesh out, based on the Sunday scripture, how we share in that grace. Without some explanation, the choice for this Advent may not be readily understood until the final week of Advent when St. Paul tells that he was “called to be an apostle and (was) set apart for the gospel of God.” Now, we know that Paul was not one of the original 12 apostles who journeyed with Jesus throughout his ministry. How can Paul say that he is an apostle? We can search out, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 857), the meaning of the word “apostolic” which we proclaim in the Creed. We find that we – the Church – are apostolic because the Church (with the capital C – God’s people) is built on “the foundation of the Apostles (The Twelve).” With the help of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, the Church keeps and hands on the teaching and the Word she has heard from the apostles, which they received from Jesus Christ himself. The Church continues to be taught, sanctified, and guided by the apostles until Christ’s return, through their successors in pastoral office. In the Catechism (#863) we are told that we all have a vocation to the apostolate by virtue of our membership in the Church. So… what is the apostolic mission? Simply “the apostles’ ministry is the continuation of Jesus’ mission” which He received from His Father. In the four weeks of Advent we will awaken to, receive, bear and rejoice in the grace of our apostleship.

OUR ADVENT PRAYER 2019God of all generations, inspire us this Advent to Share in the Grace of Apostleship. Awaken us through our prayer and worship, that we may walk in your light. Help us to Receive your Holy Word, and use your Spirit’s gifts to yield good fruit. May we, like our mother Mary, Accept our calling to Bear your presence in the world, and Rejoice, once again, in the birth of your Son, Jesus our Emmanuel, who lives and reigns, now and forever. Amen.

AWAKENING TO THE GRACE OF APOSTLESHIP – WEEK ONE – DECEMBER 1-7 – In the scriptures for week one, we are reminded that at an hour we do not expect, the Lord will come again. We are to stay awake and walk in the light of the Lord that is continually shining in our world despite the darkness and despair we see each day. We are called to turn swords into plowshares, spears to pruning hooks and ascend in holiness as we conduct ourselves properly. May this Advent be fruitful and life-giving for you and for all those you touch as an “apostle” of the one who is, who was and who will come again.

How am I staying awake to the Lord’s presence? How am I keeping others awake and hopeful?

RECEIVING THE GRACE OF APOSTLESHIP – WEEK TWO – DECEMBER 8-14 – This second week of Advent we see Isaiah’s prediction that a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and he will be a signal for the nations. Jesus, that righteous shoot, sent his Spirit to us with the gifts each of us receives in Baptism and Confirmation. If we receive these gifts with humble hearts, we will be able to share in Jesus’ mission. As we use these gifts, we prepare the way for the Lord’s coming again in glory. With the encouragement of the Scriptures, we remain hopeful and share that hope with others.

How am I using the gifts of the Spirit-wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, wonder and awe, knowledge and reverence – that I received in Baptism and Confirmation? How am I a signal of hope to others? How am I receiving God’s message and allowing it to inspire my works for the Lord? Have I received the gifts of the spirit and not used them?

ACCEPTING THE GRACE OF APOSTLESHIP – IMMACULATE CONCEPTION“Hail full of grace. The Lord is with you.” We hear these words in the gospel for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Who better than Mary to teach us how to be a good apostle? Her “Yes” to accepting God’s greatest gift—Jesus-in her very being gives us the courage to do the same. St. Paul tells us today that God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing, choosing us to be holy and unblemished.

Can I accept God’s call and blessing? What do I need to change in my attitude or actions this Advent to be more open to God’s grace? How can I grow in holiness?

Christmas 2019

The season to celebrate the Lord’s birth, his manifestation to the world, and His baptism that began his ministry. The season begins on Christmas Eve on December 24, 2019 and ends as we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 12, 2020. During Christmas Season we also celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and the Feast of the Epiphany.

Ordinary Time – Winter 2020

Ordinary Time (counted time) is the liturgical period outside of the distinctive liturgical seasons, and runs 33 or 34 weeks. In Latin, Ordinary Time is called Tempus Per Annum (“time throughout the year”). Ordinary Time falls between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent. It is far from ordinary!

Lent 2020

Our Lenten observance begins on Ash Wednesday on February 26, 2020 and lasts for 40 days (the Sundays are not included when counting the 40 days) until the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper begins on Holy Thursday on April 9, 2020. During Lent we seek conversion of heart through our Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

The Paschal Triduum 2020

The “Three Days” – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil (April 9, 10 and 11, 2020) – are the three holiest days of the Catholic Church Year. We recall and celebrate the life, death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Easter 2020

The Easter Season begins on Easter Sunday on April 12, 2020 and lasts for 7 weeks concluding on the Feast of Pentecost on May 31, 2020. This time of joyous celebration invites us to reflect on the new life we have been given through the Resurrection of Christ. It is Baptismal in nature and each Sunday we renew our Baptismal promises as a sign of our willingness to be faithful disciplines of Christ.

Ordinary Time – Summer / Fall 2020

Ordinary Time (counted time) is the liturgical period outside of the distinctive liturgical seasons, and runs 33 or 34 weeks. In Latin, Ordinary Time is called Tempus Per Annum (“time throughout the year”). Ordinary Time falls between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent. It is far from ordinary!

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