In the last article we touched on the Seasons of the Church Year. In this article I’m going to talk about the number of fixed days for certain seasons. (This applies especially for those who are praying or interested in praying the Extraordinary Form of the Divine Office.)

A. The Season of Advent

So lets start with the beginning of the Church Year, that is, the Advent season. The Advent season always begins on a Sunday, and specifically, it is the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.  That feast falls on Nov30 each year.

But here is another thing to know and that might be helpful.  Advent always begin on one of the following days in either November or December.

Nov27 | Nov28 | Nov29 |

Nov30 | Dec1 | Dec2 | Dec3

Those are the only days on which Advent begins.  The length of Advent will depend on which day it begins. Let’s do a quick rundown. If Advent begins on:

Nov27 (28 days in season)
Nov28 (27 days in season)
Nov29 (26 days in season)
Nov30 (25 days in season)
Dec1 (24 days in season)
Dec2 (23 days in season)
Dec3 (22 days in season)

So there you have the days of Advent. Also, there are always four Sundays in Advent.

B. Christmastide

Let’s move on to Christmastide, a season that consists of 20 days and has within this time the season of Christmas and the season of Epiphany.  The season of Christmas consists of 12 days, and the season of Epiphany consists of 8 days.

C. Throughout the Year I

This season and its duration (in days) depends on what day Septuagesima season begins.  Throughout the Year I is a season that falls between Christmastide and the season of Septuagesima.  In 2015, for example, Feb1 marks the beginning of the season of Septuagesima.  So we count the number of days from Jan14 to Feb1.  We count a total of 18 days.

Note: If you want, you can click on the following link and save (as pdf file) a calendar I made to help you or anyone understand where we are in the stream of time (current year) and to better understand the Church Year. Here is the link: 2015 Calendar ~ Link

D. The Season of Septuagesima

Things start to get easy from here on out…in a way. The season of Septuagesima consists of 17 days…last year, this year, next year, and it seems, until the end of time.

E. The Lenten Season

Here is a nice and quick lesson about the Lenten season and when it begins. If you start counting the number of days from Septuagesima Sunday inclusive, the 18th day always falls on a Wednesday. That Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season.

The Lenten season lasts for 46 days, counting Sundays. But within this time we have:

1) the season of Lent (40 week days)
2) Passiontide, which is the last two weeks of the Lenten season, and it consists of 14 days.

This can be a little confusing to a neophyte.  I was a bit confused at first.  But I think of the Lenten season as consisting of 6 Sundays, and hence 6 weeks, plus 4 days before the 1st Sunday of Lent. Those 4 days are:

Day 1 – Ash Wednesday
Day 2 – Thursday
Day 3 – Friday
Day 4 – Saturday
(Then you arrive at the 1st Sunday of Lent.)

So 6 weeks x 7 days per week = 42 days. Then add the 4 days mentioned above and you come up with a total of 46 days.

F. Paschaltide

Paschaltide consists of 57 days. Let me explain. Within this time called Paschaltide is:

a. the season of Easter, which consists of 5 full weeks and their Sundays, plus the 6th Sunday and the 3 days which comes after it, i.e., Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So 5 weeks x 7 days = 35 days. If we add the 6th Sunday and the three days which follow it, we have a total of 39 days in the Easter season.

Here again is the math for the season of Easter:

35 days = 5 weeks x 7 days
01 day = 6th Sunday of Easter
01 day = Monday after Sunday
01 day = Tuesday after Sunday
01 day = Wednesday after Sunday
39 days = total number of days

Then we arrive at Ascension Thursdays.

b. Ascensiontide begins on Ascension Thursday.  We count 10 days from that day inclusive (include Ascension Thursday in the count).  We then arrive at the 50th day from Easter Sunday inclusive, which is Pentecost Sunday. So let’s count the days of Ascensiontide:

Day 01 – Ascension Thursday
Day 02 – Friday
Day 03 – Saturday
Day 04 – Sunday
Day 05 – Monday
Day 06 – Tuesday
Day 07 – Wednesday
Day 08 – Thursday
Day 09 – Friday
Day 10 – Saturday

If we add the 39 days of Easter plus the 10 days of Ascensiontide, we have a total of 49 days.

c. The next day, which is the 50th day, is Pentecost Sunday.  Pentecost Sunday is the day the Church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This outpouring occurred after the 10th day in which Jesus ascended into heaven.

This brings us to the time within Paschaltide called the “octave of Pentecost”. An octave is a prolonged celebration that lasts for 8 days. The eighth day is called the “Octave”.

The Monday after the Octave of Pentecost begins the second period of time called “throughout the year”. This is marked is in my calendar simply as “Throughout II”.

So there you have the seasons in a nutshell.

Note: It might help by way of reminder that a 9 Day Novena to the Holy Spirit might be prayed beginning on the day after Ascension Thursday, and the 9th day of the Novena is Saturday before Pentecost Sunday.

Published in: on Mar 15, 2015 at 8:14 PM  Leave a Comment  
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