The liturgical year, a spiral that leads us to Christ

The Spanish Episcopal Conference has published on its website the liturgical calendar 2022-2023. In this article we talk about the meaning of the liturgical course and the solemn feasts that we will celebrate throughout the coming year.

Paloma López Campos-December 17, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
Liturgical calendar

Liturgical calendar 2022-2023 (Unsplash / Claudio Schwarz)

Ramón Navarro, director of the secretariat of the Episcopal Commission for the Liturgy, has written for Omnes a brief reflection on the liturgical year and its importance in the life of the Christian. We transcribe his text below.

What is liturgy?

From the Episcopal Commission for the Liturgy explain that this is "the celebration of the mystery of faith, which actualizes and makes present in the 'today' of the Church the History of Salvation, that is, God's plan of love for us, which has its center and culmination in the death and resurrection of Christ, that is, his Paschal Mystery. In the liturgy, therefore, we always celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Christ. So it was from the very beginning of the Church's history, when there was only the celebration of Sunday, the weekly Easter and memorial of the Risen Christ".

The "construction" of the Liturgical Year

The birth of the Liturgical Year as we know it today happened little by little. Beginning with the Sunday celebration, "the different times that formed the Liturgical Year began to develop. Quickly - we have news already in the second century - one Sunday a year Easter was celebrated with great solemnity, and the annual Easter arose, which would then be prolonged with a space of immense joy for fifty days (the Easter season) and later, in connection with the catechumenate of those who were to be baptized at Easter, Lent arose as a time of preparation. Then Christmas would be introduced as the celebration of the birth of the Lord, which would finally be prepared by Advent". This Liturgical Year would also "be complemented by the celebrations of the Virgin and the Saints". 

The Liturgy is a very enriching resource that we Christians have, for it "allows us to celebrate the whole mystery of Christ, that is, the mystery of Christ in all its richness: without ever losing sight of the centrality of Easter, but looking at the different events of salvation, that is, the different "mysteries" of the Lord, we delve into the unfathomable richness of the Mystery of Christ and participate in it. Let us imagine a large precious stone with many facets. Turning it around and looking at each of the facets - the "mysteries" of the Lord - we do not lose sight of the center - the Paschal Mystery of Christ, dead and risen".

"In this way, and through its elements-the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments, the richness of the Word of God proclaimed, the accents of each of the liturgical seasons, the relationship of the Virgin and the saints to the mystery of Christ-guided by the Holy Spirit, the Liturgical Year becomes an admirable pedagogy through which the Church leads us to a deeper knowledge and participation in the mystery of Christ. The annual cycle does not mean that we go back to the beginning and start anew at each Advent season, with the beginning of the new year. Let us not think of the Liturgical Year as a circle that brings us back to the same place, but as a spiral that leads us ever more deeply into an encounter with Christ, making our life a sacrifice pleasing to God, uniting us to the Lord.

Movable celebrations 2022-2023

The following is a list of the movable celebrations and holy days of obligation in Spain for the 2022-2023 academic year:

-Sacred Family: December 30, 2022

-Baptism of the Lord: January 8, 2023

-Ash Wednesday: February 22, 2023

-Easter Sunday: April 9, 2023

-Lord's Ascension: May 21, 2023

-Pentecost: May 28, 2023

-Jesus Christ, High and Eternal Priest: June 1, 2023

-Feast of the Most Holy Trinity: June 4, 2023

-Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: June 11, 2023

-Sacred Heart of Jesus: June 16, 2023

-Jesus Christ King of the Universe: November 26, 2023

-First Sunday of Advent: December 3, 2023

Holy days of obligation in Spain

-Holy Mary, Mother of God: January 1

-Epiphany of the Lord: January 6

-San José: March 19

-St. James, apostle: July 25th

-Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: August 15

-All Saints: November 1

-Immaculate Conception: December 8

-Nativity of the Lord: December 25

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