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THE LITURGICAL YEAR/CALENDAR
The Liturgical Calendar begins every year during the month of November on the First Sunday of Advent and runs through to the Solemnity of Christ the King.
The liturgical year is the temporal structure within which the Church celebrates the holy mysteries of Christ: "From the Incarnation and the Nativity to the Ascension, to Pentecost and to the wait in joyful hope for the Lord's coming".
"During the liturgical year, 'the celebration of the Paschal Mystery is the most privileged moment in the daily, weekly and annual celebration of Christian worship'. Consequently, the priority of the Liturgical year over any other devotional form or practice must be regarded as a touch stone for the relationship between Liturgy and popular piety."
The Liturgical Calendar is a tool that kindles the hearts of Catholics so that they will remember God’s marvellous plan of salvation that was accomplished through the birth, life, death and rising of Christ Who once again walks the earth in our time and presence.
THE LITURGICAL CYCLES
The "Lectionary," the Mass readings from the Holy Bible, follows a Sunday cycle and a weekday cycle. The Liturgical Calendar follows a three year cycle, each year being represented by the letters, A, B and C.
During the year A cycle, the Gospel of Matthew is the primary Gospel that is used for the readings. In year B, Mark is the primary Gospel. In year C Luke is the primary Gospel. The Gospel of John is proclaimed on particular Sundays in each of the years.
On weekdays in Ordinary Time, there is a 2 year cycle numbered I and II. Year I is read in odd number years such as 2005, 2007, 2009. Year II is read in even years such as 2006, 2008, 2010.
It should be noted that if a person attends the Holy Mass everyday for 3 years, having been present for all the readings of the 3 cycles, most of the Holy Bible will have been read to him during that time frame.