What Events Does a Liturgical Calendar Mark?

The liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church marks events such as solemnities, feasts and commemorations of people and events that have special importance to the faith. Some events mark occasions or events such as Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday and Christmas. Others memorialize people, such as days devoted to particular saints or members of the Holy Family.

The year begins with Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas that allow believers to prepare for the coming of Christ, and ends with the Feast of the Solemnity of Christ, which reminds believers that Christ is at the head and body of the church.

A hierarchical system organizes events according to their source, location and purpose. For example, the Vatican establishes universal events that all jurisdictions must observe. Entire continents or regions must celebrate regional events in addition to the established universal events. An example of a regional event is the Feast of the Six Saviors of Europe that all jurisdictions in Europe must observe.

Other categories include national events that are specific to a particular nation, and city or local events. There are also days devoted to founders of particular orders and saints or members of the Holy Family in whose honor parishioners devote individual churches.

Some celebrations mark the beginning or end of one of the calendar's six seasons. Easter marks the beginning of the Eastertide season The seventh Sunday after Easter marks the Feast of the Ascension, which celebrates Christ's entry into Heaven.

In addition to celebrations devoted to Christmas and the Ascension, there are special days of obligation that have special significance. These include feasts that celebrate Mary, Mother of God on January 1, the Ascension of Mary on August 15, All Saints Day on November 1 and the Immaculate Conception on December 8.