Following the Big “C” and Little “C” Liturgical Calendar

If you’ve read my “About” page, you’ll know that I am both Catholic and catholic. While I have much more to say about my meaning of this identification, there’s a short way to put it:

I reside (loosely) within the Roman Catholic tradition with a catholic – “universal,” “expansive” and “encompassing” faith experience and outlook.

The “reboot” of this blog (which is the 4.0 version of it) is all about looking at the world through this lens of Catholic/catholic.

How does this identification of my religio-spiritual perspective resonate with you? If you can identify with it as well, I’d love to hear about it via comments and conversation below.

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As 2022 is still young and the Catholic liturgical cycle begins Ordinary Time tomorrow, I reflect here on what the liturgical calendar is and why it’s essential to my faith practice.

Foundationally, it is like our secular calendar of holidays that have ways to remember and celebrate them. Note the various celebrations we have during January:

https://bible.usccb.org/readings/calendar

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The annual memorial (remembrance) day of key saints is noted on this version of the liturgical calendar. Yet, there are many, many more saints celebrated on any given day.

Here’s a partial snapshot of just some of the saints celebrated today:

https://catholicsaints.info/15-january/

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A side note here… Today is the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If he were ever to become a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church, would today be the day his memorial is celebrated?

Almost certainly not because a saint’s memorial day is typically the day he/she died and passed into eternity to be “in heaven with God” (the basic definition of a “saint”)

So MLK’s memorial would be April the Fourth – the day he was murdered at the Loraine Motel in Memphis.

https://carloslive.com/the-lorraine-motel-room-306-memphis-tn/

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The liturgical calendar also gives a set cycle of scripture readings for mass each and every day. Basically, there’s a three year cycle (“A,” “B” and “C”) for Sunday liturgy and a two year cycle for the daily liturgy.

This liturgical cycle of readings is not exclusive to the Roman Church alone. A number of “mainline” Christian denominations, e.g. Lutherans, Episcopalians, United Methodists and more use The Revised Common Lectionary:

https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/lections.php?year=C&season=Epiphany

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For the most part, especially on Sundays, the Roman and Revised Common lectionaries have identical scriptural readings. The seasons, particularly Ordinary Time, have different designations between these liturgical cycles:

https://www.stpaulsbellingham.org/about-the-episcopal-church

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I follow the liturgical cycle in my daily prayer for two main reasons.

First, these readings and daily celebrations keep me connected to the church universal. On any day of the year, especially on the 52 Sundays, Christians around the globe – on every continent, in many languages – are reading, hearing, praying with and pondering these same words of God. When I participate in this prayerful praxis, I am connected with More than just my own little self.

https://ottawacoc.org/sermons/407406-immeasurably-more/

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The second reason flows from the first. The MORE, whom I know as God, continues to speak to me through what I read in the liturgical scripture. I’ve experienced this too many times to be a mere coincidence –

I’m struggling with something.

I read/pray with readings from the day’s lectionary.

And I hear what I need to hear – sometimes consolation; other times a challenge – via those words.

In this I hear God’s voice to me – not literally spoken aloud. Rather, whispered through the insights and intuition of my mind and soul.

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I share this reflection on the liturgical cycle as I hope to reflect on it often in this blog through words, images, and music.

I hope it is through these reflections that you’ll learn more about how I see the world as both Catholic and catholic.

So, about this Catholic calendar poster. You can buy one here – https://ltp.org/products/details/YG22LP/year-of-grace-2022-paper-poster

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