I just transferred all my important dates from my old calendar to my new one. I paused, looking at the birthdates of the friends and family I love. I remembered the ones who passed away, whose birthdays I would remember in prayer this year, with a tinge of sadness. I smiled and silently rejoiced at the new babies added onto my calendar this year, including my beautiful godson, Rory.
As I completed this process, it occurred to me just how important our home calendars are. This realization opened my eyes to how valuable the Church’s Liturgical Calendar is. During Advent we prepare for the Lord’s arrival just as my godson’s mom prepared this year for his birth. We remember the birthday of our Savior on Christmas. We celebrate His mother’s birth and the feast days of our beloved Saints. We experience the Lord’s Passion and death ending the season of Lent, then rejoice once again as Easter is celebrated. Then, of course, there is Ordinary Time, which is anything but ordinary! When we think of our day-to-day lives, we mark the appointments and events onto the pages of these ‘ordinary days.’ But in living these days, they become extraordinary. Compare that to the ‘Ordinary Time’ of the Church. During this time we see the day-to-day life of Christ. How extraordinary!
I have always struggled a little with understanding the liturgical calendar year. Thank goodness for the Mass Missals or I’d probably be lost. As I looked at the way the Church sets up our calendar, it all began to make more sense. I love the Mass. I love the way the readings are all connected and the way it always seem to apply to my life, no matter what is going on!
My family and I enjoy praying the family Rosary, but my children had the same problem remembering the Mysteries that I have with the liturgical year. My husband helped us to understand both in a new way.
The Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary are the: Glorious, Joyful, Sorrowful, and Luminous. My husband gave the children this trick to help them remember:
God the father
Jesus the son
Spirit of God, and
Life of Christ
Each Mystery is also tied to a season of the liturgical year: Joyful-Advent, leading to Christmas, Sorrowful-Lent, Glorious-Easter, and the Luminous-Ordinary (life). Remembering this makes it a little easier to retain what parts make up the Church year. By teaching your students the Rosary you can help them learn the Church calendar.
Studying the Church’s calendar can seem dry until you put this celebration of God’s family into perspective. I have a picture in my mind; God is in heaven, marking the time on His calendar. He not only marks the events of the Church, but on His calendar He remembers my Baptism day too. As His adopted child, I have a prominent place in the pages of His date book. We all do. As we celebrate and remember the life of Our Lord on the Church’s calendar, so too, God remembers us.