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Scott P. Richert

Happy (Liturgical) New Year!

By December 1, 2013

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No, it's not January 1 yet. But today is the First Sunday in Advent, which marks the new year in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. (See When Does Advent Start? for more information.) Every year, starting four Sundays before Christmas, the Catholic Church sets aside a period of time for Christians to prepare for the Birth of Christ. Historically, Advent is second only to Lent as a time of penance--especially prayer , fasting, and almsgiving.

Advent 2013 is rather short: Since Advent runs through Christmas Eve (December 24), the entire season is only 24 days. (The shortest Advent can be is 22 days; the longest is 28.) That means that, if we want to prepare properly for Christmas, we'd better get the ball rolling. Here are some articles to get you started!

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December 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm
(1) Jaya says:

A small, but important, clarification. Today marks the beginning of the liturgical year not for “the Catholic Church,” but rather for the Roman Catholic Church. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the liturgical year begins on September 1st.

Eastern or Western, a blessed and fruitful time of preparation to all!

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