A June of Feasts

640px-Greco,_El_-_Sts_Peter_and_PaulI wondered how often we’ve celebrated five named Church feasts on Sundays in June, finishing up today with observing Peter and Paul. Easter has to fall on April 20th for it to work. The only time since Vatican II that’s happened was in 2003. That was a few years after Ascension got transferred to Sunday. It happens again in 2025, and then not again until 2087.

Sometimes Pentecost leads off the first Sunday in June, and when that happens on the 3rd, the Nativity of John the Baptist supercedes an ordinary Sunday on the 24th, which places four Sunday feasts in June. And that’s happened in 1979, 1990, and last in 2001. Not again until 2063.

I wondered about the earliest possible ordinary Sunday for the current US calendar–the observance of Body and Blood on Sunday. Easter has to fall on March 22nd, which places Pentecost on Mother’s Day, May 10th, which lights up May 31st with green. That happens next in 2285.

Of course, Roman Catholics might see some adjustments in Ascension, or possibly even the Body and Blood of Christ by then. Or we could have a new rendering of the date of Easter by agreement with the Orthodox. That would be great.

Meanwhile, next Sunday, we return you to your regularly scheduled green–the latest first appearance after Lent–July 6th.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to A June of Feasts

  1. Liam says:

    We only had 4 named feasts up here in the Northeast (I am glad for that – the moving of Ascension is not something I am a fan of at all; not a fan of moving Epiphany, either – it’s really weird to celebrate Epiphany on January 2nd, or to simply drop off the Baptism of the Lord when Epiphany falls on the 7th or 8th.)

    Yesterday was the last of the moveable feasts: the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    Notice the 11-year spacing. In the 28-yr solar cycle, you get the calendar returning to place in sequences of 6-5-6-11 years.

    I remember attending the vigil of the Ascension on Wed. April 30, 2008. When Easter falls on April 25, Ascension Thursday falls in June.

    Someday, I’d like to see the powers that be revisit the ordinal count of the Weeks of the Year (the names of Sundays being derived from that). They are counted forward from the week in which the Baptism of the Lord falls until Ash Wednesday, and counted back from the 34th week that precedes the First Sunday of Advent until Pentecost. Four consecutive Sundays occurring between Week 5 & Week 13 are omitted each year, depending upon date of Easter; basically, if Advent 1 falls in November (or, in a non-leap year, December 1), an entire week (plus the remainder of the week in which Ash Wednesday falls) of OT will be omitted during the preceding liturgical year (conversely, if Advent 1 falls on 12/3, 12/2 or, in a leap year, 12/1, there will not be an entire week omitted). Given modern technology, I think we could revert to a more intuitive taxonomy but have a conversion algorithm built into the calendrical background, as it were.

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