Before entering fully into the clarification of the meaning of the term liturgical year, it is essential to know the etymological origin of the two words that give it form:
-Year comes from Latin, exactly from “annus”, which has the same meaning as in Spanish.
-Liturgical, on the other hand, it is a term of Greek origin. Specifically, it comes from “leitoyrgikos” which can be translated as “related to religious ceremonies”. It is the result of the sum of three clearly differentiated parts: the noun “leiton” (government house), the element “ergon” (work) and the suffix “-ico”, which is used to indicate “relative to”.
A year is a temporary period that spans twelve months. Generally, the notion is associated with the calendar year, which begins on January 1 and ends on December 31. However, there are different year classes according to how time is measured, which can even be less or more than twelve months (such as the school year).
In the case of the liturgical year, this is the name given to the year that governs the festivities of the Christian Church, whose beginning is found on the first Sunday of Advent (that is, on the first Sunday of the liturgical season that precedes the celebration of Christmas; this time has an extension of four weeks).
According to DigoPaul, the liturgical year, in this way, organizes the various liturgical seasons that are linked to acts of worship, which in turn derive from the Bible. The faithful, following the liturgical year, can know what prayers should be said at each moment and know what colors the rite celebrant will wear in the context of the liturgy.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore that for Christians the liturgical year has two clear functions:
-On the one hand, a mission of a salvific type, insofar as they receive during that period the grace of the intimate joy of salvation, that of Christian hope, courage and bravery, the conversion of the heart…
-On the other hand, it is established that this liturgical year has a catechetical objective. Yes, because, through it, the mysteries of Christ are learned: Christmas, Epiphany, Death, Resurrection… Thus, for example, at Christmas the birth of Jesus Christ is commemorated while at Easter one chooses to do the same with the passion, death and resurrection of it.
Although there are celebrations whose date is fixed every year (such as Christmas, which is celebrated on December 25), others change (such as Easter). The liturgical year is particularly relevant in these cases, when the celebrations are mobile and it is necessary to keep in mind when they are celebrated each year.
It is important to know that the liturgical year has two cycles: the Christological season, which is the one that revolves around Christ and the saints. The latter is the one dedicated to the saints and the Virgin.
If we focus on the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, the liturgical year consists of the Ordinary Time, the Season of Advent, the Season of Christmas, the Season of Lent and the Season of Easter.