Our Christian worship is based on the Person of Christ, His Incarnation, Death and Resurrection. The purpose of this worship is to involve the faithful in the Mysteries of Christ, helping them to reflect upon them, shaping their lives according to the same pattern and at the same time, sanctifying the element of TIME.
The Church spreads the Mystery of Christ throughout the year. That is what we call the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical Year becomes educational, helping the believer to live the Mystery of Christ gradually. That is why we see the whole thirty-three years of Christ's life condensed into one year.
The Liturgical year in the Maronite Churc begins on the First Sunday of November. These Sundays that prepare the Feast of Christmas are as follows:Consecration of the Church
Dedication of the Church
Announcement Sundays:Announcement to Zachariah
Announcement to Mary
Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Birth of John the Baptist
Revelation to Joseph
The six last Sundays prepare us for Christmas. These Sundays remind us of the Plan of Salvation. The two first Sundays are not directly part of the liturgical year but they were included at this particular place because it coincides with the Jewish Celebration, the Consecration of the Temple.
The first Sunday is called the Consecration Sunday and the second is called Dedication Sunday, but the historical meaning is one: the Commemoration of the Consecration of Churches and Altars. The Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church is celebrated on the First Sunday of November. And if there are 8 Sundays between the first Sunday of November and Christmas, both the Consecration and the Dedication will be celebrated. But if there are only seven Sundays, only the Consecration is celebrated and the Dedication is dropped.
The Dedication of the Church means the celebration of the Consecration of the house of God (material buildings), and the Church (the body of Christ).