The Liturgical Year:
God, Humanity & Time
The Lord Jesus, when He came to save us, stepped out of eternity and into our order of time. From the moment of His incarnation onward, time took on a new importance. Not only do we live our natural lives by a rhythm of time – minutes, hours, days, months, years – but the Church calls us to live the supernatural dimension of our lives by a rhythm of time also.
The events in the life of Jesus that saved us are historically over and gone. However, the liturgy of the Church draws those saving events and the power of their grace into our present time.
Liturgical Feasts & Seasons
And so we have the great solemnities of the Church year: Christmas and Easter. We have the seasons that surround the solemnities: Advent before Christmas and the Christmas Season afterward; Lent before Easter and the Easter Season afterward, concluding with Pentecost. We have Ordinary Time, that time when the Holy Spirit is working in the ordinary way to draw us more deeply into the life of grace and holiness. We also remember those days made special by the life and death of the holy men and women who heroically lived the life of grace before us, the saints.
God, Humanity, & Time in a Monastery
In a monastery life to a great degree revolves around the time of the Church’s year of grace. The monks and their guests gather in the Abbey church to remember the saving events of Our Lord. By this remembering they are drawn into the very mystery of salvation. They remember by praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the “Work of God,” as St. Benedict called, and by celebrating the Mass. Here at Mount Angel we recite the offices of Vigils and sing Lauds, Noonday Prayer, Vespers, and Compline each day.
The Community Mass is the center of our day. The offices and the Mass keep us in tune with the days of the Church’s year of grace and bring us into contact with the Lord and His saving works. The Liturgical Year is our Benedictine way of journeying together unto everlasting life.