Celebrate Christmas

The Christmas season celebrates the mystery of the Incarnation and the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the world: past, present and future.

The mystery and feast of Christmas (the Nativity of the Lord) is second only to Easter in the liturgical life of the Church. The first week of the season is the octave of Christmas which closes on the feast of the Mother of God (Jan 1).  Some cultures preserve the traditions of “Twelve Days” for the celebration, extending Christmas Day through Epiphany.  


Christmas is a season of feasts. Some are celebrations of various aspects of the mystery of the Nativity, while others are feasts in their own right that are as old as or older than the Christmas feast itself. Unlike the days immediately after Easter (the octave or eight days), the period after Christmas sees the inclusion of many and varied celebrations.

These feasts reflect on various facets of the Christmas event. 

  • Holy Innocents: reflecting Matthew 2.13-18, December 28th.
  • Holy Family: on the Sunday after Christmas or December 30th. The newest of the seasonal feasts, included in the calendar in 1921.
  • Solemnity of Mary: January 1st has supported a varied number of titles including the civil New Year. It has commemorated the Circumcision (and Naming) of Jesus and been simply the “Octave Day” of Christmas. The celebration of Mary brings the day to the earliest of her titles and the oldest feast in honour of the Mother of God. Holy Name of Jesus: 
  • January 3rd Epiphany: a feast from the Eastern Churches and the original Eastern celebration of Christ’s birth.  It now commemorates the “manifestation” of Christ to the nations and is kept on January 6th or the Sunday after January 1st. The liturgical texts centre on the magi, but include as well references to Jesus’ baptism and his first miracle at Cana as images of his appearance to the world, event that are celebrated specifically later on. 
  • Baptism of the Lord: Jesus begins his saving work; the Sunday (or Monday) after Epiphany.

Canada’s two Holydays of Obligation (December 25th and January 1st) are observed during the Christmas season.

Text: Celebrating the Season of Christmas, National Liturgy Office, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Related Offices Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Christmas

Rejoice in God's Mercy: Resources

This initiative consists of all parishes in the diocese offering the sacrament of Reconciliation on all the Wednesdays of Advent and Lent from 7:30-8:30pm in addition to other scheduled times for Reconciliation at your parish.

Below are bulletin reflections for Rejoice in God’s Mercy, the diocesan renewal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please insert these reflections into your parish bulletin on November 26, December 3, 10, 17, and 24. 

  • Note that Some parishes may need to extend the time to accommodate the number of penitents or speak about the initiative in advance to encourage parishioners to take advantage of the earlier dates. Make Reconciliation available at your parish on Wednesdays December 6, 13, and 20 from 7:30 – 8:30pm.

You might like to use this paragraph to advertise the initiative in your parish bulletin:

The Diocese of Calgary invites you to experience the peace, love, and joy brought by participating in the sacrament of reconciliation. In addition to the regular parish schedule, the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at parishes throughout the Diocese of Calgary all the Wednesdays of Advent from 7:30 – 8:30pm.

Electronic materials will also come to your parish by email and are available below.

In Christ,

The Office of Liturgy
The Diocesan Liturgical Commission

Bulletin Reflection:

In addition to the regular parish schedule, the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at parishes throughout the Diocese of Calgary all the Wednesdays of Advent from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

November 26, Christ the King

Catholics celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation because we recognise that sometimes we fail to do as we ought and because we believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness. The priest can help you and you can trust the Holy Spirit to guide you. Even if you don’t know how you can change your life, showing up makes you open to the grace that the sacrament brings.  The Diocese of Calgary invites you to experience the peace, love, and joy brought by participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Action: If you are afraid to go to Reconciliation, speak about your reservations with a priest or someone you know who does participate in the sacrament. If you celebrate the sacrament regularly, speak about it as a witness to others.

December 3, Advent I

It is easy to become complacent, doing things the way we have always done them and making excuses for the things we do not want to change. Life is hard and we can become rigid and obstinate out of self-defense. Yet, in the loving creative hand of God, we are to be like clay is to the potter. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a safe place to put aside the armour of our stubbornness and be strengthened by the grace of God given in Christ Jesus. Action Item: Each evening this week identify three ways God has shown you kindness and gentleness.

December 10, Advent II

St. Augustine knew what sort of person he ought to be when as a youth he prayed for purity “but not yet!” Some changes happen overnight while others unfold gradually. In the confessional we can admit our failings and struggles confident that the Lord is patient and wants us to come to repentance. Action Item: Find an opportunity each day to extend God’s patience to others and to yourself. 

December 17, Advent III

We were created in the image of God and so our lives should continually give glory to God. It is human nature to take pride in doing good work but when we start to do it for our own glory, we have lost sight of God’s gift to us. The sacrament of Reconciliation is an opportunity to re-orient everything we do to God’s glory.  Action Item: Learn and pray the canticle of Mary, (Luke 1.46-55).

December 24, Advent IV: no Wednesday confession to follow

The time of our Saviour’s birth is upon us. Though we are not always prepared God is always ready for us! When we are tempted to feel like our failings are insurmountable, let us remember that nothing is impossible with God.  Action Item: Encourage others who are hard on themselves by sharing with them the love and mercy of Christ. For yourself, know that the sacrament of Reconciliation is available at your parish year-round as scheduled or by appointment. 

Graphic Resources:

For a link to a Facebook Banner, click here

For a link to the poster, click here

For a link to bulletin image 1, click HERE

For a link to bulletin image 2, click HERE

Related Offices Office of Liturgy Related Programs Rejoice in God's Mercy
Related Themes Reconciliation Advent Parish Life

Liturgy Planning Forms

Please see below the documents you need to submit for liturgies celebrated by Bishop William McGrattan.

  1. Liturgical Planning Form
    Please fill and return this form to the Office of Liturgy no later than two weeks prior to the celebration. Submit via e-mail to
  2. Prayers of the Faithful Template 

Do not hesitate to contact Simone (403-218-5524)  or Lia (403-218-5511)  in the Office of Liturgy if you have any questions regarding your upcoming liturgy or about completing the form. 

Related Offices Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Liturgy Liturgical Celebration

Bishop McGrattan's Liturgical Calendar

Below is the list of diocesan liturgical calendar of Bishop William T. McGrattan. The schedule is subject to change. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Liturgy at 403-218-5511 or 403-218-5524, or e-mail 

October 2017

November 2017

  • November 1 - Calgary Catholic School District Faith Day 
  • November 9 - Knights of Columbus Memorial at St. Luke, Calgary
  • November 15 - Red Mass, St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • November 18 - CWL 75th Anniversary at St. James, Okotoks
  • November 24 at 7 PM - Memorial Liturgy for those Mourning the Loss of a Child Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth, Sacred Heart Church, Calgary
  • November 26 at 9 AM - Mass for Shane Lambert's Candidacy for Holy Orders, Holy Spirit Parish, Calgary 
  • November 26 at 11:30 AM - Mass for Troy Nguyen's Candidacy for Holy Orders, St. Peter, Calgary

December 2017

  • December 5 - Advent Mass with Bishop McNally High School, Calgary 
  • December 23 at 5 PM - Mass for Derek Remus' Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate, St. Bonaventure, Calgary
  • December 24 - Nativity of the Birth of Jesus at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary

January 2018

  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Date to be determined. 

February 2018 

  • February 14 - Ash Wednesday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • February 17 - Rite of Election at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • February 18 - Mass for Mark Drapal's Candidacy for Holy Orders, St. Cecilia, Calgary
  • February 18 - Rite of Election at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • February 20 - Faith Day - Christ the Redeemer School Disrict

March 2018

  • March 24 - Acies Legion of Mary - Mass at St. Patrick, Calgary
  • March 26 - Chrism Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 29 - Holy Thursday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 30 at 9 AM - The Outdoor Way of the Cross at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 30 - Good Friday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 31 - Easter Vigil at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary

April 2018

  • April 1 - Easter Sunday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary

May 2018

  • May 27 - Feed the Hungry Blessing at the Garden

JUNE 2018

  • Date to be determined - World Migrants Mass
Related Offices Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Diocesan Event Diocesan Celebration

Consecration of Canada - Photo Album

Bishop McGrattan consecrated the Diocese of Calgary to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, July 1, 2017, with a celebration of Eucharist, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Rosary prayers.

The Diocese of Calgary thanks all the liturgical ministers involved and the staff at St. Mary's Cathedral for their assistance. A special thank you for God Squad Canada for preparing the delicious barbeque for everyone!

Created with flickr slideshow.


If the slideshow does not play in your browser, please view directly in the Flickr Photo Album here.

Photography: Victor Panlilio

Related Offices Bishop's Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Canada 150 Eucharist Liturgy Prayers Diocesan Event Diocesan History Mary Diocesan Celebration
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