A division of the year into seasons of worship, used by the Roman Catholic Church and several Protestant denominations. Each season has a theme and a color. Consists of two major cycles - the nativity cycle and the resurrection cycle - plus various days of special observance. Three-fourths of the church year hinges upon the date of Easter which is determined by the moon. The remaining festivals are determined by Christmas, a fixed date connected with the winter solstice, which is determined by the sun.

Note that the events commemorated did not necessarily occur on the dates on which they are celebrated. The liturgical year represents successive aspects of the Christian mystery (incarnation, revelation, the life and teachings of Jesus, his death on the cross, his ascension, the life of the Church and Christians in the world) and the cycles of history, nature, and human life.

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