Ever wonder if our Sunday readings are from Cycle A, B, or C? Or if the weekday readings are Cycle 1 or 2? Or if Mass that day will be celebrating a special feast or saint’s day? Or what color the presider’s vestments will be? All of this can be found in the 2008 Liturgical Calendar published by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Although every parish has a copy of this information, it is helpful to also be able to access it online, especially while preparing a homily or planning for an upcoming Mass.
The Liturgical Calendar also provides helpful information about holy days of obligation and how they are celebrated in particular dioceses. For example, the calendar notes that in Hawaii, the Bishop of Honolulu received approval to designate Christmas and the Immaculate Conception as the only two holy days of obligation in the calendar year. Another variation relates to the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord. In the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia and all of Nebraska, the Ascension is celebrated on the proper Thursday. Elsewhere in the US, the Ascension is transfered to the 7th Sunday of Easter, which will be May 4 in 2008.
Catholics sometimes wonder how there can be differences in practices such as these, especially within one country. But this shows how the universal church is attentive to the needs of particular dioceses, and how individual bishops can make requests and receive approval from the Vatican to best address the needs of their own dioceses.
To read more about the Mass and liturgical celebrations, visit ActiveParishioner.com’s website.