The Liturgical Calendar

The liturgical calendar follows the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Advent

When? The four Sundays before Christmas

What? Advent is a time of preparation for and anticipation of the birth of Jesus.

Liturgical color: Purple

Christmas

When? December 25

What? Christmas celebrates Christ’s birth.

Liturgical color: White

Epiphany

When? January 6

What? Epiphany celebrates the revelation of the Son of God as a human being in Jesus. Western Christians usually commemorate the magi’s visit to Jesus.

Liturgical color: White

Baptism of the Lord

When? The Sunday after Epiphany

What? This is the day we celebrate John the Baptist’s baptism of Christ in the Jordan River.

Liturgical color: White

Ash Wednesday

When? 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter Sunday

What? This day marks the beginning of Lent. It is focused on prayer, fasting, and repentance.

Liturgical color: Purple

Lent

When? The period of time between Ash Wednesday and Holy Week

What? Lent is a time of penitence and preparing for the death of Christ.

Liturgical color: Purple

Palm Sunday

When? The Sunday before Easter

What? Palm Sunday commemorates the beginning of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. It celebrates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Liturgical color: Red

Holy Week

When? The week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday

What? Holy Week commemorates the last days of Jesus’ earthly life. It is a time of repentance and sometimes fasting as the church prepares to remember Jesus’ sacrifice.

Liturgical color: Through Wednesday the liturgical color is red. From Thursday through Saturday there is no color

Maundy Thursday

When? Thursday of Holy Week

What? Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper and Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Liturgical color: Maundy Thursday has no liturgical color

Good Friday

When? Friday of Holy Week

What? Good Friday is the commemoration of Jesus’ crucifixion and death.

Liturgical color: Good Friday has no liturgical color

Easter

When? Easter is held on the Sunday following the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox

What? Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and the empty tomb. The Easter season lasts until Pentecost Sunday.

Liturgical color: White

Ascension Day

When? 40 days after Easter Sunday

What? Ascension Day is the celebration of Jesus’ ascension after his resurrection.

Liturgical color: White

Pentecost

When? Seven weeks after Easter

What? Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.

Liturgical color: Red

Trinity Sunday

When? The first Sunday after Pentecost

What? Trinity Sunday celebrates the doctrine of the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Liturgical color: White

All Saints Day

When? November 1 or the Sunday closest to November 1

What? All Saints Day commemorates all Christians, past and present. It is sometimes used to remember church members who have died in the past year.

Liturgical color: White

Christ the King Sunday

When? The last Sunday before Advent

What? Christ the King Sunday celebrates the complete authority of Christ as king and Lord of creation.

Liturgical color: none

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