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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

Help for the use of the liturgical calendar

Advent

  • The Advent season starts with the 1st Sunday of Advent, which fluctuates between November 27th and December 3rd, depending upon the year (cf. General table).
  • On December 17th a rather peculiar week starts: Advent privileged days. The 3rd week of Advent is over and the Gospels of the 17th, 18th, etc. are read (successively, until the 24th ) One of these days should coincide with a Sunday: then, the Gospel for the 4th Sunday of Advent applies.

Christmas

  • For Christmas Day 4 different Gospels apply, depending upon the hour of the Mass celebration: Vigil, Midnight, Dawn or Mass of the Day. Our service sends our subscribers —alternatively- to one of these possibilities.
  • The Holy Family is celebrated the First Sunday after Christmas (it may fall between December 26th and January 1st). It also has a triple cycle A, B y C.
  • If the 26th, 27th and 28th of December do not fall on Sunday, they have their own festivity: respectively, St. Stephen, St. John and the day of the Saint Innocents.
  • Christmas time ends with the Baptism of the Lord: it is celebrated the First Sunday after Epiphany (it is, therefore, celebrated between Jan. 7th and 13th). Between both festivities the Gospels corresponding from January 7th to 12th are read.
  • The day after the Baptism of the Lord is the 1st Monday of the Ordinary Time.

Lent

  • The Lent season begins with Ash Wednesday. Its celebration may fluctuate between February and March (for each year, cf. General table).

Holy Week

  • After the 5th week of Lent, Easter starts with the Palm Sunday (it has A, B and C cycles). This is the week that centers the whole liturgical year: the Three Holy Days (triduum sanctum) (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday). These liturgical days cannot be shifted, that is, they cannot be replaced by any other Proper of Saints celebration.
  • There is no Mass on Good Friday, but the Passion of the Lord service is celebrated. The Evangelic text used is the account of the Passion after St. John.
  • Holy Saturday is “a-liturgical”: i.e. there are neither Mass nor any services. Consequently, there is no Evangelical text. However, our service Contemplating Today’s Gospel has anticipated a commentary for that particular day.
  • After Holy Saturday, the Easter Time begins.

Easter

  • The Easter Season starts with Palm Sunday, immediately after Holy Saturday.
  • Easter Sunday —along with Christmas— is the greatest solemnity of the liturgical year. The evangelical text to be read depends upon the mass to be celebrated: whether that of the Easter Vigil (with its three cycles A, B and C), or that of the Mass of the Day. Our service forwards to its subscribers one of these alternatives (whether that of the Vigil in the prevailing cycle, or that of the Mass of the Day).
  • This very solemn Sunday gives way to the Week of the Easter Octave. From the liturgical point of view, during the whole week we keep celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection. These are untransferable liturgical days.
  • The solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension (with its triple cycle A, B and C) is celebrated Thursday of the 5th week of Easter. However, in many dioceses, this celebration is transferred to the following Sunday (the 7th Sunday of the week being inoperative). This is the criterion that Contemplating Today’s Gospel follows when forwarding its service to its subscribers.
  • Easter Time ends with the solemnity of Pentecost. There are there two possibilities of the evangelic text, depending on whether the Mass of the Vigil or that of the Day is celebrated. Contemplating Today’s Gospel, in its deliveries, alternates each year, both texts.
  • When Easter is over, the Ordinary Time is recuperated. The day following Pentecost is the Monday of the 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th of the Ordinary Time (for each year, cf. General Table).

Ordinary Time

  • The Ordinary Time has a first phase, that starts following Christmas Time (after the Baptism of the Lord). The next day is the Monday of the 1st Week of Ordinary Time. This first phase extends until Ash Wednesday (for each, cf. the General Table).
  • In its second phase, the Ordinary Time, reactivates when Easter is over. The following day after Pentecost is Monday of the 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th week of the Ordinary Time (for each year, cf. the General Table).
  • The Ordinary Time includes three distinctive solemnities (with a triple cycle A, B y C): the Holy Trinity (next Sunday after Pentecost); Corpus Christi (second Sunday after Pentecost) and the Sacred Heart of Jesus (third Friday after Pentecost).
  • The last Sunday of the liturgical year (Sunday of the 34th week) is always the solemnity of Christ the King (A, B y C). Saturday of this week ends the liturgical year and —the following day— starts the 1st Sunday of Advent.
  • Throughout the Ordinary Time —in a smaller scale, also during the other liturgical times— proper of saints celebrations (cf. Holidays and Proper of Saints) are intercalated Generally, Sundays have priority over (they cannot be replaced by) the proper of a saint celebration.

Feasts and Proper of Saints

  • The Holidays and Proper of Saints group includes the celebrations of saints in their corresponding days (those which are fixed: for instance, St. Joseph, March 19th).
  • Generally, these days cannot forestall of prevail over Sundays (especially, when they are Advent, Lent or Easter Sundays). The exception being the Festivals of the Lord (such as the Transfiguration) and some very special ones of the Virgin Mary (the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception).
  • The Church calendar of saint’s days is much wider than what we include in Contemplating Today’s Gospel. Our service includes the feasts commemorating saints with their own Gospel: generally, we are referring to the festivities of the Virgin Mary, of St. Joseph and the Apostles. St. Martha and St. Mary Magdalen which are included because they are evangelic personages and liturgical celebrations with their own Gospel. Other saints celebrations have been included because they refer to European patrons (or of other areas).