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THE Christian year begins with ADVENT — the Coming of Christ.
1 The four Sundays in Advent precede the Great Festival of our Saviour's Nativity. The First Sunday in Advent is always the nearest Sunday, before or after, to the Feast of St. Andrew (the first-called Apostle,) which is on the 30th day of November. It is therefore on one of the seven days from November 27 to December 3.
Christmas — the Nativity of our Lord. This occurs on the 25th day of December. The Festival includes twelve days to the Epiphany. Twelfth Night is the twelfth from Christmas.
St. STEPHEN's Day is the 26th of December.
EPIPHANY — the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, is on the 6th of January. This applies particularly to the manifestation to the Wise Men of the East; and indirectly, to the manifestation at his Baptism, and to the manifestation of his miraculous powers at the Marriage Feast. The Sundays after Epiphany are numbered to Septuagesima Sunday, from one to six, according as Easter comes earlier or later.
· The CONVERSION OF St. Paul is commemorated on the 25th of January.
SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY is the third before Lent, and nearly the 70th day before Easter.
SEXAGESIMA SUNDAY is the second before Lent.
QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY is the next before Lent.
Ash-WEDNESDAY is the first day of Lent. The name is derived from Ashes, symbolic of fasting and self-mortification.
LENT - the Fast of Forty Days before Easter. From Ash-Wednesday to Easter are forty-six days; but the six Sundays are not counted, because it is not the custom of the Church to fast on Sundays, when we commemorate so great a blessing as our Saviour's resurrection.
PASSION WEEK — the week before Easter. The name is derived from the Latin word Passio, signifying suffering.
Palm SUNDAY — Day of Christ's Entrance into Jerusalem, is the next before Easter.
Good Friday — Day of the Crucifixion, is the third day before Easter.
EASTER — Day of the Resurrection. Easter Day, on which the other Movable Feasts and Fasts depend, is the first Sunday after the full moon, which happens upon, or next after, the 21st day of March, the Vernal Equinox. If the full moon is on a Sunday, Easter Day is the Sunday after. Easter Day, from being nearly coincident with the Jewish Passover, and also because of the analogy between the sacrifice of Christ and that of the Lamb of the Paschal feast, is often alluded to in the same terms; and most nations give it a name derived from the Greek name of the Passover, Pascha.
Ascension Day, called also Holy Thursday, is the fortieth day after Easter.
WHITSUNDAY — Giving of the Holy Spirit, is the fiftieth day after Easter. Whitsunday is so called, because, this day being one of the stated times for Baptism in the ancient Church, those who were baptized were clothed in white garments, as a type of spiritual purity.
The coincidence of this feast with the Jewish Festival of Pentecost, held in commemoration of the giving of the Law from Sinai, on the fiftieth day of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, has caused this feast to be recognized as analogous to that, and often to be called by that name.
After Whitsunday, twenty-eight Sundays, or fewer, from about the middle of May to Advent, complete the year.