The liturgical calendar offers us an opportunity to consider the lives and examples of the Saints, to learn about events in the lives of the Holy Family and the early Church, and to get engaged in devotions throughout the year.
Here are five ways we incorporate prayer into our liturgical living:
1. For each saint whose feast day appears on the Universal Calendar. There is a collect prayer which ends the introductory rites for the Mass in honor of that saint. Saying this prayer is an excellent way to remember the feast day in your daily prayers, and even if you’re not able to make it to daily Mass, and there is a partial indulgence attached to its use.
2. For each month of the year, there is a different traditional monthly devotion. For instance: October is the month of the Rosary; November is the month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. January is devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus, and so on.
3. Many feast days recall events that are described in the Bible, for example, the Transfiguration, or the Baptism of the Lord. Reading those passages from the Bible during personal prayer time or together as a family is a great way to become more familiar with them.
4. Asking God’s blessing on the people we love and the things we use throughout our days and years is an important and meaningful way to pray. Various blessings are traditionally associated with different feast days.
5. The Church encourages us in particular prayers and practices by offering indulgences for their use. Indulgences can be plenary (full) or partial and are subject to the usual conditions. Many indulgences are associated with particular days of the year. There are TWO available today, In honor of the beginning of the new calendar year, we recite the Veni Creator Spiritus, and in honor of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we recite the Litany of Loreto.
It is important to focus your prayer in a liturgical manner. This helps one work in these great prayers and practices and devotions at least some times each year. Liturgical living helps us tie particular prayers and practices to particular months and feast days, and helps make sure that these very important devotions, intentions, and prayers get included during each year, and are repeated year after year.