The Catholic Week and Month


Fridays are penitential days and Catholics are to keep in mind Christ's suffering and to sacrifice something for the sake of penance and discipline. Catholics fulfill this duty by abstaining from meat and making other penances.

Saturdays are, traditionally, the days Catholics go to Confession in preparation for receiving the Eucharist on Sundays, but of course you can go to Confession on any day..

Sundays are, of course, the day for renewing Christ's once and for all Sacrifice during the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. Because Christ rose from His tomb on Sunday, Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sundays, or "the Lord's Day." On this day we fulfill God's Third Commandment, to "remember the Sabbath day [which means "rest", not "Saturday"], to keep it holy." We refrain from unnecessary servile work and fulfill our "Sunday Obligation" to attend Mass.

Day of the Week

Western (Roman) Catholics Dedicated to:


Resurrection & the Holy and Undivided Trinity
Monday The Holy Ghost & the  Holy Souls in Purgatory
Tuesday The Holy Face & The Holy Angels 1
Wednesday St. Joseph 2
Thursday The Blessed Sacrament 3
Friday Christ's Passion and His Sacred Heart 4
Saturday The Blessed Virgin and her Immaculate Heart. 5

Day of the Week

Byzantine Catholics are Dedicated to:


Resurrection & the Holy and Undivided Trinity
Monday The Holy Angels
Tuesday The Forerunner, St. John the Baptist
Wednesday The All Holy Theotokos (Blessed Virgin Mary)
Thursday Apostles Peter and Paul & St. Nicholas of Myra
Friday The Holy Cross
Saturday All Saints

Day of the Week

Maronite Catholics are Dedicated to:


Resurrection & the Holy and Undivided Trinity
Monday The Holy Angels
Tuesday  I. Prophets, the Just, Confessors / II. Bishops, Priests, Doctors and Monks
Wednesday The Virgin Mary, Mother of God
Thursday Apostles and Four Evangelists
Friday Martyrs
Saturday Holy Souls in Purgatory




Dedicated to:

January   The Holy Name and The Holy Family & Childhood of Jesus
February   Sacred Passion of Jesus
March   St. Joseph
April   The Holy Ghost & The Blessed Sacrament
May   The Blessed Virgin Mary
June   Sacred Heart of Jesus
July   The Precious Blood
August   Immaculate Heart of Mary
September   Seven Dolours (Sorrows) of Mary
October   The Holy Rosary (and, less formally, the Holy Angels)
November   Poor Souls in Purgatory
December   The Immaculate Conception

1 Tuesdays are also the day for honoring the Holy Face and, unofficially, honoring St. Anthony of Padua. On the Tuesday after St. Anthony's death, the day his funeral cortege took his body to the church, many miracles took place, so this day is commemorated in his honor, often by praying a Novena to St. Anthony either for thirteen consecutive Tuesdays or perpetually.

A special Novena to St. Dominic, St. Anne and St. Martha is also made on 9 consecutive Tuesdays or on all Tuesdays by some Catholics.

2 On Wednesdays, many Catholics make a special devotion to St. Joseph by going to Mass on the first Wednesdays of 9 consecutive months and offering their Communions in his honor and for the salvation of the dying..

On Thursdays, many Catholics make "Holy Hour," that is, they spend an hour in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as an aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart.

4 On Fridays, many Catholics make what is known as the "First Fridays Devotion" in honor of the Sacred Heart. This entails going to Mass and receiving Communion in reparation to the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of the month for 9 consecutive months.

On Saturdays, many Catholics make what is called the "First Saturdays Devotion" which entails going to Mass and receiving Communion for the first Saturday of the month for 5 consecutive months in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   

Partial Text courtesy of Fisheaters


The Catholic Year Calendar-Related Customs

Below are links to pages that describe customs and devotions related to the liturgical year.
 Dates in italics are movable.


    Novena to the Immaculate Conception 29 November - 7 December
    Christmas Novena I 30 November - 24 December
  December: dedicated to the Divine Infant & Immaculate Conception
    Advent Overview  
    Advent Wreath & Candles Sundays of Advent
    Nativity Scenes 1st Sunday of Advent - 6 January or 2 February
    Advent Calendars 1-24 December
    Jesse Trees 1-24 December
    Feast of Saint Francis Xavier 3 December
    Feast of St. Barbara 4 December
    Feast of St. Nicholas 6 December
    Feast of Saint Ambrose 7 December
    Feast of the Immaculate Conception 8 December
    Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe 12 December
    Feast of St. Lucy 13 December
    Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle 21 December
    Advent Embertide Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after
13 December (St. Lucy's Day):
    Christmas Novena II & Las Posadas 16-24 December
    The Golden Nights: O Antiphons 17-23 December


    Christmastide Overview  
    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 24-25 December
    Feast of St. Stephen the Deacon 26 December
    Feast of St. John the Evangelist, Apostle 27 December
    Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas) 28 December
    Feast of St. Thomas Becket 29 December
    Feast of St. Sylvester 31 December

January: dedicated to the Holy Name and Childhood of Jesus

    Feast of the Circumcision 1 January
    Feast of the Holy Name 2 January (1st Sunday of the year, or 2 January if this Sunday falls on the 1st, 6th, or 7th)
    Feast of Holy Family Sunday 1st Sunday after Epiphany
    Twelfth Night 5 January
    Feast of the Epiphany 6 January
    Feast of the Holy Family 7 January (1st Sunday after the Epiphany)
    The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ 13 January

Time After Epiphany

    Time After Epiphany Overview  
    Feast of Saint Antony the Great 17 January
    St. Agnes Eve & St. Agnes Day 20 & 21 January
    Feast of Saint John Chrysostom 27 January
    Feast of Saint Francis De Sales 29 January
    Feast of Saint John Bosco 31 January

February: dedicated to the Holy Family & Sacred Passion of Our Lord

    Feast of St. Brigid of Ireland 1 February
    Feast of the Purification (Candlemas) 2 February
    Feast of St. Blaise 3 February


    Septuagesima Overview  
    Septuagesima Sunday and its Vigil 3-4 February
    Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes 11 February
    St. Valentine's Day 14 February      
    Shrovetide 19-20 February


    Lent Overview  
    Ash Wednesday Moveable
    Lenten Embertide Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the 1st Sunday of Lent:
    Feast of Saint Peter's Chair  Antioch 22 February
    Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle 24 February

March: dedicated to St. Joseph

    4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) Moveable
    Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas 7  March
    Feast of St. Patrick 17 March
    Feast of St. Joseph 19 March
    Feast of Saint Benedict 21 March
    Feast of Saint Gabriel, Archangel 24 March
    Feast of the Annunciation (Lady Day) 25 March
    Passiontide & Passion Week begin: Vespers of Passion Sunday, and Passion Sunday Moveable
    Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary Friday of Passion Week
    Holy Week begins: Palm Sunday Moveable
    Spy Wednesday Moveable
    Good Friday Moveable
    Holy Saturday Moveable
    The Sacred Triduum begins: Maundy Thursday Moveable
  April: dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament
    Feast of Saint George 23 April
    Feast of Saint Mark 25 April
    Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross 28 April
    Feast of Saint Catherine of Sienna 30 April


    Eastertide Overview  
    Easter Sunday Moveable
    Low Sunday/Good Shepherd Sunday Moveable
    Major Rogation 25 April
    Walpurgisnacht 30 April
    Solemnity of Saint Joseph Third Wednesday after Easter
  May: dedicated to Mary
    May Crowning Early May
    Minor Rogation 3 days before the Ascension
    Ascension Thursday 40 days after Easter
    Novena to the Holy Ghost in anticipation of Whitsunday 10 days before Pentecost
    Vigil of the Pentecost & Pentecost (Whitsunday) 50 days after Easter
    Whit Embertide Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after Pentecost
    Feats of Saint Joseph the Worker 1 May
    Feast of Saint Athanasius 2 May
    Feast of Finding of the Holy Cross 3 May
    Feast of Saint Monica 4 May
    Feast of Saint Pope Pius V 5 May
    Feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael 8 May
    Feast of Saint Phillip and Saint James the Lesser, Apostles 11 May
    Feast of Our Lady of Fatima/ Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament 13 May
    Queenship of Mary 31 May

Time After Pentecost

  June: dedicated to the Sacred Heart
    Time After Pentecost Overview  
    Trinity Sunday Sunday after Pentecost
    Feast of Corpus Christi The Thursday after Trinity Sunday
    Feast of St. Anthony of Padua 13 June
    Feast of the Sacred Heart Friday a week after Corpus Christi
    St. John's Eve & Nativity of St. John the Baptist 23 & 24 June
    Saints Peter & Paul, Apostles 29 June
    Commemoration of Saint Paul 30 June
  July: dedicated to the Precious Blood
    Feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ 1 July
    Peter's Pence Collection 1 July (the Sunday nearest to 29 June, the the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul)
    Feast of the Visitation 2 July
    Our Lady of Mount Carmel 16 July
    Feast of St. Mary Magdalen 22 July
    Feast of St. James the Greater 25 July
    Feast of Saint Anne 26 July
    Feast of St. Martha 29 July
    Feast of Ignatius of Loyola 31 July
  August: dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
    Feast of Saint Peter's Chains 1 August
    Feast of Saint Dominic 4 August
    Feast of the Transfiguration 6 August
    Feast of Saint John Vianney 9 August
    Feast of Saint Clare 12 August
    Feast of St. Lawrence 10 August
    Feast of the Assumption (Marymass) 15 August
    Feast of Immaculate Heart of Mary 22 August
    Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle 24 August
    Feast of King Saint Louis IX 25 August
    Feast of Saint Augustine 28 August
    Beheading of Saint John the Baptist 29 August
    Feast of Saint Rose of Lima 30 August
  September: dedicated to the Seven Dolors of Mary
    Feast of Saint Pope Pius X 3 September
    Feast of the Nativity of Mary 8 September
    Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Roodmas) 14 September
    Feast of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino 10 September
    Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary 12 September
    Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary 15 September
    Michaelmas Embertide Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the third Sunday in September
    Feast of Saint Joseph of Cupertino 18 September
    Feast of Saint Januarius (San Gennaro) 19 September
    Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle 21 September
    Feast of Our Lady of Mercy (Ransom) 24 September
    Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (Michaelmas) 29 September
  October: dedicated to the Holy Rosary
    Feast of Rosary Sunday First Sunday of the Month
    Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels 2  October
    Feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux 3  October
    Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi 4  October
    Divine Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 11 October
    Feast of Saint Theresa of Avila 15 October
    Feast of Saint Luke 18 October
    Feast of Saint Raphael, Archangel 24 October
    All Souls Novena 24 October - 1 November
    Feast of Christ the King Last Sunday of October
    Feast of Saint Jude & Saint Simon, Apostles 28 October
    All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en) 31 October
  November: dedicated to the Poor Souls in Purgatory
    All Saints' Day (Hallowmas) 1 November
    All Souls Day 2 November
    Feast of St. Martin of Tours (Martinmas) 11 November
    Feast of Saint Albert the Great 15 November
    Feats of Saint Gertrude the Great 16 November
    Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 21 November
    Feast of Saint Cecilia 22 November
    Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria 25 November
    Feast of Saint Andrew 30 November
    Last Sunday of Pentecost Moveable


The Catholic year (the "liturgical year") is made special by cycles of celebrations commemorating the lives of Jesus and His mother, the angels, and the legion of Saints who modeled lives of sanctity. Below are 25 Feasts and times, in chronological order, that demonstrate how the liturgical year is a reliving of the life of Christ:

Advent He is coming
Nativity He comes
Circumcision He follows Old Testament Law
Epiphany He reveals Himself as God
Holy Family He grows up in a human family
Candlemas Simeon's prophecy
Septuagesima We are in exile without Christ
Ash Wednesday Without Christ, we are dust
Lent Christ is in the Desert
Passion Sunday Jews make plans to kill Jesus
7 Sorrows Mary's suffers at what is to come
Palm Sunday He triumphantly enters Jerusalem
Spy Wednesday Jesus is betrayed by Judas
Maundy Thursday He offers the first Holy Mass
Good Friday He is put to death and fulfills Old Testament Law
Holy Saturday He is in the tomb
Easter He is risen
Ascension He ascends into Heaven
Pentecost He sends the Holy Ghost
Trinity Sunday The Most Holy Trinity has been fully revealed
Assumption Mary is assumed into Heaven & crowned Queen
Christ the King We recognize Christ's Kingship now and forever
All Saints We will triumph as have our heroic Saints
All Souls We pray for those who are awaiting their triumph
Last Sunday in
Time after Pentecost
Apocalypse. He will come to judge the world

Every single year, aware Catholics "re-live" the Gospel, from Christ's Incarnation and Birth to His Ascension and Heavenly reign. In Spring He enters the world by coming to rest in Mary's immaculate womb; nine months later, in Winter, He is born, circumcised, and given a Name. He is raised in the Holy Family, and meets His cousin, John. He goes into the Desert and we go with Him during our Lenten Season. Then follow His Passion and Agony, which are soon vanquished by His Resurrection, His Ascension, and the Pentecost. Now He reigns -- and forever, and we await His Second Coming as we prepare to celebrate again His First Coming. Then the cycle begins again, like a wheel that's been spinning for two millennia. The Catholic who is aware of this wheel is necessarily aware of Christ; the Catholic who also celebrates the Feasts well and practices the traditions of the Church lives intimately with Him.

All of the Church's Feasts1 fall into one of the 2 main "liturgical cycles" made of 7 "liturgical seasons." Each of the Seasons has an associated mood, its own "feeling in the air," its own scents and ornaments. There is even for each Season an associated color which will be reflected in the priests' vestments and liturgical art, church decoration, and so on (though on certain Holy Days within a particular season, that Day's color will take precedence over the season's color).

"Overlaid" on this grid of Seasons are two sets of dates: the Proper of Saints (also called the "Sanctoral cycle") and the Proper of Seasons (also called the "Temporal cycle"). The Proper of Saints are Feast Days which are not movable, that is, they fall on the same date each year. The Proper of Seasons are those Sundays and other Feasts of the year, whose dates of celebration depend on the dates of Easter Sunday and Advent Sunday and are, therefore, movable (they change each year).

To determine the dates of the Proper of Seasons:

bullet Mark the Season of Easter:
First, we determine the date of Easter, which will be the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after March 21 (even if the full moon on or after March 21 falls on a Sunday, go to the Sunday after). The Vigil of this Feast marks the beginning of Eastertide.
bullet Mark the Season of Time after Pentecost:
Counting Easter as "one," count 9 Sundays forward from Easter and mark that Sunday as the beginning of Time After Pentecost. A Sunday of this Season is referred to as "(First, Second, Third, etc). Sunday after Pentecost."
bullet Mark the Season of Septuagesima:
Counting Easter as "one," count 10 Sundays back from Easter and mark that day as the beginning of Septuagesima. The three Sundays of this Season are referred to, respectively, as Septuagesima Sunday, Sexagesima Sunday, and Quinquagesima Sunday.
bullet Mark the Season of Lent:
Counting Septuagesima Sunday as "one," count 3 Sundays forward from Septuagesima Sunday, then go to the following Wednesday and mark that Wednesday as "Ash Wednesday," the beginning of Lent. A Sunday in this Season is referred to as "(First, Second, Third, etc). Sunday of Lent."
bullet Mark the Season of Advent:
Then, starting with the date of Christmas (always December 25), we count back 4 Sundays to mark Advent Sunday (if Christmas is a Sunday, don't count it; count back 4 entire Sundays so that there are 4 Sundays in Advent). Another way to do this is to simply mark the Sunday closest to St. Andrew's Day (30 November). This date marks the beginning of Advent. A Sunday in this Season is referred to as "(First, Second, Third, etc.) Sunday of Advent."
bullet Mark the Season of Christmas:
Mark the Vigil of December 25 as the beginning of Christmastide
bullet Mark the Season of Time after Epiphany:
Mark January 14 as the beginning of Time After Epiphany. A Sunday of this Season is referred to as "(Second, Third, etc.) Sunday after Epiphany." Note, the first Sunday of this Season is the "Second Sunday after Epiphany," the "after Epiphany" referring to the Feast of the Epiphany, not to the Season

Then refer to the Temporal Cycle to fill in any movable Feasts whose dates depend on the date of Easter or Advent Sunday as determined above. The only things left to do are: 

bullet to mark the "Octaves":
Octaves are 8-day periods of observance, beginning with the Feast day itself. Not all Feasts have "Octaves"; only the most important ones do. So, starting with the Feast Day itself, counting it as "one," mark 8 days of the following Feasts as "Octaves": Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Then mark the octave before Christmas Eve as "The Golden Nights."
bullet to mark Ember Days and Rogation Days:
bullet the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) are the days of Advent Embertide
bullet the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the First Sunday of Lent are known as Lenten Embertide
bullet the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost Sunday make up Whit Embertide
bullet the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14 September). Note that these Ember Days must come a full week after the Holy Cross Day.
bullet Mark the Major Rogation on April 25, and the Minor Rogation on the three days -- Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday -- before Ascension Thursday
bullet to mark your cathedral's patronal Feast:
Mark the Feast of the patron Saint of your diocese's cathedral (e.g., if your cathedral is named "SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral," the priests of your diocese will celebrate 29 June, the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, as a first class Feast)

Now, each of the Sundays of a Season has its own "Propers" -- prayers that are specific to that day in the liturgy (the Divine Office and the Mass). Each of the Feasts in the Proper of Saints will also have its own Propers. So, because the Feasts in the Proper of Saints and the Proper of the Seasons can sometime overlap with two Feasts falling on the same day, all Feasts are ranked according to their importance. The higher ranking Feast will be the one celebrated.

Feasts fall into one of a few categories, in descending order of precedence 2:

bullet 1st Class
bullet 2nd Class
bullet 3rd Class
bullet Commemoration  

In older Missals, the Feasts are ranked thus:

Before mid-1950s 1962 Equivalent
Double of the First Class First Class
Double of the 2nd Class Second Class
Greater Double Second or Third Class
Lesser Double Third Class
Semi-Double Third Class
Simple Commemoration

When two Feasts of the same rank fall on the same day, they are ranked further by whether they relate to (in descending order of preference):

bullet Our Lord
bullet Our Lady
bullet the Holy Angels
bullet St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, St. Peter, St. Paul, the other Apostles
bullet Martyrs
bullet Other Saints

A "feria" (the word means "free day") is a "weekday" -- that is, a day that is neither a Sunday nor any other Feast.


Majority of text courtesy of Fisheaters