Armchair Liturgist: Big Feasts on Saturdays

This year the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross falls on a Saturday. This coming Saturday, in fact.

This is the third of five feasts this year which, while not “high” enough to be obligatory holy days, are important enough to replace the Sunday Mass in Ordinary Time. (In 2014, they all will replace a Sunday–be prepared.)

In my parish, Saturday is the only liturgical day of the week in which Mass is not celebrated. So we lose something of these important observances when they fall on Saturday. While we might make up for it with weekend observances next year, in 2013 we’re experiencing a little liturgical poverty.

If you were the parish liturgist, fully powerful enough to render judgment, would you offer any special festivity? Is a Saturday morning Mass worth music if you don’t provide it on weekdays? Or will you trim back the readings to a customary Saturday two? And do no music? Would you ask the pastor to celebrate Mass on Saturday if he ordinarily didn’t do so?

Does the celebration or lack thereof on these feasts hamper the observance of obligatory holy days?

Finally, without checking Wikipedia, or some Catholic site, can you name the other four Sunday pre-empt feasts of 2013? Consult a plain calendar if you wish. Then render judgment from the liturgist’s purple armchair.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in The Armchair Liturgist. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Armchair Liturgist: Big Feasts on Saturdays

  1. Liam says:

    If you have a Saturday afternoon Mass (unless it was rather late, well after a plausible time for vespers – 4:45PM is a bit before normal vespers time, FWIW), it would take the propers of Saturday since they trump the propers of Sunday, just as it would if Christmas fell on a Saturday. The USCCB finally fixed its longtime errors in this regard a few years back.

    • Mike K says:

      Actually, most churches don’t do that because it would result in confusion for the faithful (is this a Sunday Mass or a Mass for the feast that falls on Saturday?). And yes, that goes into the whole argument about Saturday Vigil Masses, but that’s beyond this forum. It should be noted that Saturday’s evening prayer is of the feast, not EP 1 of Sunday.

      And, to answer Todd’s question:
      – Presentation of the Lord
      – Transfiguration
      – Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls – note that it does NOT preempt Sunday’s Liturgy of the Hours)
      – Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

      In 2014, all but Transfiguration fall on Sunday (including Triumph of the Cross). The fifth day to preempt an ordinary Sunday next year is actually a solemnity – Sts. Peter and Paul.

      And Todd, a purple armchair question(s) for you: when All Souls falls on a Sunday, what color vestments does your parish wear? If violet (or black), do you drop the Gloria? As I understand it, the Gloria is called for when All Souls falls on Sunday, but most churches I know of that use violet/black drop the Gloria – which makes sense to me, because the use of penitential colors should preclude the use of the Gloria.

  2. Liam says:

    I know a lot of places don’t do that, but there rationale is mostly pretextual. The real rationale is an efficiency rationale: that homilists prefer not to have to prepare different homilies, and musicians and lectors not have to deal with different propers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s