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Arts & Environment Committee

This group is comprised of parishioners who design and make decorations to create an environment to complement liturgies for each Church season and feast day.

Contact:  Carol Radosevich
cradosevich@stjohns-savage.org

 

Liturgical Year

The life of Christ enlivens every season, every holy day, every hour of our lives. Our celebration of his gift of himself never ends but only deepens and grows stronger with every passing year.

Life in the Church means being born in Christ, setting out on a journey to find him, only to discover that the further we travel in search of him, the more at home we are, because he is our one and only home, our most familiar place, where our hearts rest secure.

The week begins on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, and ends on Saturday. Each season in the Church’s year is represented by a different color.

Advent—Purple

Begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends after Christmas Eve. For so many thousands of years people had been waiting. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” –Isaiah 9:1. God’s people knew that this Great Light would dawn. During the season of Advent, which means “coming,” we remember the people who waited in joyful hope for the coming of the Light. We also pray for the light of Jesus to be born anew in our hearts. With the whole Church, we wait for the celebration of Christmas.

Each Sunday of Advent, we light one candle and remember Jesus Christ, who is the Great Light that continues to grow and spread in the world.

Christmas Season—White

Begins with Evening Prayer on Christmas Eve and ends on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

One day, in Bethlehem, the Great Light entered the world. Jesus was born! Along with the angels, we join in singing, “Glory to God in the highest!” Just as the Magi were overjoyed when they saw the star, we delight in God’s gift of himself and wish to give him something in return. In awe and wonder, we ponder God’s mysterious presence among his people; like Mary, we reflect on these things in our hearts. Jesus is still with us in the bread and in the wine, now and always!

Ordinary Time—Green

From the end of the Christmas season until Ash Wednesday and from the day after Pentecost until the first Sunday of Advent.

Ordinary time is the time after a feast when we use the grace we have received to grow in faith and love. Each Sunday in ordinary time has a number, so that we can count them. The numbers increase each week, just as the joy and love in our hearts increases, as we ponder the mystery of Jesus Christ, son of Mary and Son of God.

Lent—Purple

Begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

“A clean heart create for me, God”-Psalm 51:12. Now that God has come to live among his people, we will never be the same. His wondrous deeds, proclaimed by the prophets and witnessed by his apostles, remind us of our littleness and our limits. When we genuflect toward the presence of Christ in the tabernacle upon entering a church, we show God that we know how small we are and how great he is. To carry this awareness into our daily lives, we ask God to clean our hearts so that we may be open to receive him. During Lent we remind ourselves again that only God can give all we need. We do penance for our past sins so that we may renew our desire to follow Jesus. We also make special effort to share the gifts we have: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me”-Matthew 25:35-36.

The Paschal Triduum

Begins on Holy Thursday with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday.

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep,”- John 10:11. Jesus gives his whole self: all his care, all his love, and his time. Then, at a particular moment, Jesus even consented to die for us. What a total and complete way to lay down one’s life!

Yet dying for us was not the end of this gift of his life. When Jesus rose from the dead, he gave all humanity his new risen life, which we join at our Baptism. And he continues to lay down his life for us on the altar each time we come to the Holy Mass where we taste and see his abundant and glorious life, given as a most precious gift, for all people of all times. The Great Light of Christmas has become a spreading fire that will enlighten the world!

Easter—White

Begins on Easter Sunday and ends with Evening Prayer on Pentecost Sunday.

If we can think of a universe as a seed, then the risen life of Jesus is the plant that sprouts from the heart of that seed. Christ’s mysterious life has been present from the beginning of the world. It is a life that overcomes all limits; death, illness, and prisons can have no power over it.

On Easter Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead, his powerful risen life burst from its seed casing, and the world, once closed, limited, and dead, began to sprout and bloom with his miraculous new life. In these fifty days leading up to Pentecost, we meditate on all the accounts of people who met the risen Jesus. With Mary Magdalene, we can recognize the voice of the risen Jesus as he calls our name. With Saint Thomas the Apostle, we can life our eyes to the risen Jesus and pray, “My Lord and My God!” And when the risen Jesus asks if we love him, we can answer with Saint Peter: “Yes, Lord, you know we love you.” As we await the celebration of Pentecost, we can open our eyes and our hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit, who brings Christ’s life to the whole Church and helps us to breathe with the risen life of Jesus every time we offer ourselves to him.

Text provided courtesy of Liturgy Training Publications: Archdiocese of Chicago.