The Liturgical Year

The liturgical year presents us with opportunities to reflect on the Paschal Mystery in our everyday lives. Catholics are familiar with the liturgical seasons through the readings and colours used at Mass. Below is a sprinkling of resources for individual or group reflection at different occasions of the liturgical cycle.


September 15 marks a day of remembering the harm caused by a history of child sexual abuse and failure to protect children within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Through its Healing and Support services the Diocese recognises and supports community or survivor advocacy groups to acknowledge the Perpetual Day of Remembrance in their own way.

As a people of faith we also offer support to individuals and communities through our response of liturgy and prayer. Prayer resources will be made available through parishes, schools, agencies and groups. These resources are also available in PDF format below for:

In 2020 Bishop Bill Wright decreed Perpetual Day of Remembrance Sunday. You can read the decree and read the accompanying letter.

Counselling support is available, contact Healing and Support (Zimmerman Service) on 02 4923 0636 or email Alternatively, you can contact Blue Knot Helpline on 1300 657 380.


The Christian season of Advent is becoming more and more counter cultural.  As the world speeds up in the race to Christmas, and as Christmas decorations and carols abound, Advent invites Christians to slow down, to pay attention to our deepest longings and hopes, to pray and reflect, to be uncluttered and unhurried, as we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Christ’s birth at Christmas. 

  • ACBC Advent liturgical resources linked to the Plenary Council
  • Virtual Advent Series is a online opportunity to hear from Australian biblical scholars on the richness of Advent readings. 
  • Advent Pilgrimage: A Journey from Eden to Bethlehem. Join online and receive daily video meditations commencing Nov 29, 2020.
  • The Examen is an ancient way of praying which invites us to review our day in the light of Christ. It emphasises gratitude and the longing to grow as disciples. 
  • Illuminated 2020: An Online Journey into the Heart of Christmas led by Jan Richardson runs from Nov 29 to Dec 26, 2020. It intertwines reflection, art, music, and community to help you find spaces for reflection through Advent and Christmas in contemplation and conversation with others along the way. Retreat costs apply - individual, group, and congregational rates are available.
  • Adore - Daily Advent & Christmas Daily Reflections 2020 from the Diocese of Wollongong is a pocket-sized book appropriate for personal use as well as parish group use and school prayer. Small cost per book scaled per order quantity. 
  • Advent-Christmas resource prepared by the National Liturgy Council (NLC) for parishes, schools and all Catholic communities explains the meaning and celebration of this season. It is an excellent resource outlining history, key principles and pastoral and liturgical guidance.
  • Advent Music Resources for Year B, downloadable by users, contains detailed hymn suggestions, full order of service and a wide range of additional material for liturgical events.

For a joyful and quirky explanation of the relevance of Advent today watch Advent in 2 minutes video by

© 2019 Busted Halo®, All rights reserved. Permission given to parishes and schools within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to download, copy, and share video under following conditions: Do not edit the video in any way and do acknowledge as the publisher, via note in publication or verbal mention before use. 


Many parish communities are reflecting on what to do when weekday Mass is not possible. The Liturgy Council has considered this issue and produced a Practice Note: Liturgical Celebrations on Weekdays which aims to assist parishes to respond to this pastoral situation in the best way possible. The Practice Note is recommended to Parish Leadership Teams and Liturgy Teams for their consideration and discussion. It also has relevance to Catholic school communities. Other resources on this website will assist parishes and schools in their response: Information about the Prayer of the Church and templates for Morning and Evening Prayer and a Week Day Liturgy of the Word template.


As the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle continues its synodal journey through Lent 2021, communities are supported to engage in contemplative dialogue and reflection. A variety of reflections and resources can be accessed from our Synod website page Building the Kingdom of God Together.


In the Church of Maitland-Newcastle the Chrism Mass is celebrated annually on the Tuesday evening of Holy Week, 7 pm in the Sacred Heart Cathedral. It is an amazing liturgy. People gather from all over the diocese. They come by bus and car and by 6.30 pm the cathedral and its precinct are full of people, all catching up and preparing to be part of this most significant celebration of our faith.

This gathering of the whole Church at the Cathedral with Bishop Bill Wright is an important part of our preparation for the Easter Ceremonies which will take place throughout the diocese. 

At the Chrism Mass our Bishop Bill blesses the holy oils which will be used for ministry throughout the coming year. The oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick are blessed. The oil of chrism is consecrated. The first is used for anointing adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars. The tradition of blessing the oils goes back to the early church. Only the bishop can consecrate chrism.

Celebrated with Bishop Bill and most of the clergy and representatives from all parishes, the Chrism Mass is a great celebration of our unity as the Church of Maitland-Newcastle. This unity is marked in a special way when, after the readings and homily, everyone participates in a renewal of their commitment to ministry which we share, though in different ways.

This renewal begins with the Assembly – all God's priestly, prophetic and kingly people – who recommit to the work of spreading God's word in their families, communities and workplaces. Then the deacons restate their commitment to the loving and humble service called for by the gospel. This is followed by the priests' renewal of their priestly promises to unite themselves with Christ and to steward the mysteries of God. Finally, Bishop Bill renews his commitment to becoming a more faithful image of Christ the Good Shepherd. Through the process of this renewal, the people offer their prayer and support to their deacons, priests and bishop. Our unity characterised by difference is acted out in this ritual of renewal.

A simple resource for prayer and reflection on the texts for the blessing of the holy oils is available here. It can help you prepare to participate in the Chrism Mass, or reflect on your experience after. It can be used personally or in groups.

A template for parishes looking for a ritual to receive the oils sent to them by Bishop Bill from the Chrism Mass is available in MS Word or PDF format.

Click here to view the photos from 2019 Chrism Mass.


The following resources are provided to assist parishes in planning their Easter ceremonies.

  • Fr Andrew Doohan's keynote address from the 2016/17 Triduum formation days.
  • Some key liturgical documents about the Paschal Triduum.
  • A short articleCelebrating the Paschal Triduum: 'rehearsal' for paschal living, from the Good Samaritan Sisters' e-magazine.
  • People's Booklet for the Paschal Triduum (template). Newcastle Parish supplies this. It may help parishes prepare their People's Booklet.
  • Practice Note: Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday has been prepared to outline the recent change to the norms regarding this ritual.
  • A template for parishes looking for a ritual to receive the oils sent to them by Bishop Bill from the Chrism Mass is available as a PDF or MS Word document.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many people will acknowledge Anzac Day from home. The following resources are suitable for home use:

Sydney Catholic Schools has provided the following Google slide presentations suitable for children and families:

The Australian Catholic Bishops website has resources for Anzac Day. The tabs at the top of the site include access to the music for Mass for the Fallen, We Shall Remember Them by Christopher Willcock SJ and other resources.


Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the Patron of the Church of Maitland-Newcastle. Mass and Liturgy texts are provided in PDF and MS Word format for parishes and schools to use to celebrate our patronal feast solemnity on June 27. 


In Australia Mary MacKillop’s feast is celebrated as a solemnity on August 8. Resources to assist in celebrating this feast are provided below:

  • 2020 COVID-19 arrangements, for live-stream of Feast Day Mass 10.00 am at Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel North Sydney, are available here
  • Download texts for the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours
    • While these texts do not include texts for a Vigil Mass or for Evening Prayer I, communities could begin the celebration with either, given the explanation of Solemnities in the General Norms for the Liturgical year and the Calendar a. 11 Solemnities are counted as the principal days in the calendar and their observance begins with evening prayer I of the preceding day. Some also have their own vigil Mass for use when Mass is celebrated in the evening of the preceding day.
  • Download additional resources for the Prayer of the Church Mary MacKillop.
  • This article may assist those preparing the community's liturgical celebration.
  • Information on Mary MacKillop can be found on the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart website.
  • LiturgyHelp users can access the Mass of Solemnity with Lectionary and Missal texts of Mary of the Cross.

Pope Francis announced September 1 2015 as the first annual 'World Day of Prayer'. Go to the 'Reflection' section of our community resources web page for more information.