DPPL 230: Feast Days

STA altar at night small

230. Both the Liturgy and popular piety attach great importance to the feast days assigned to the Saints. The “Saint’s day” is marked with numerous cultic displays, some liturgical, others deriving from popular piety. Such cultic expressions can sometimes conflict.

This is a topic I usually hit when I teach a parish class on prayer. Every good believer can identify their saint day and observe it: Mass, meal, special things with the family or one’s spiritual life. Parishes certainly should be attending carefully to patrons, founders, or other people connected to the faith community or the place where they are situated.

The Church expresses a concern about conflict:

Conflicts of this nature must be resolved by application of the norms contained in the Missale Romanum and in the Calendarium Romanum Generale on the grades assigned to the celebration of Saints and Beati. In this, account must be taken of the their relationship with a particular Christian community (principal Patron of a place, Title of a Church, Founder of a religious family, or their Principal Patron); the conditions governing the transfer of certain feasts to the subsequent Sunday, and of norms on the celebration of the feasts of Saints at certain particular times during the liturgical year(Cf. Calendarium Romanum, cit., Normae universales, 58-59; CDW, Instruction De Calendariis particularibus,8-12, in AAS 62 (1970) 653-654)).

It’s also important to note that parish patrons and dedication anniversaries can transfer to Sunday in many cases.

The aforementioned norms should be respected not only from a sense of respect for the liturgical authority of the Apostolic See, but above all from a sense of reverence for the mystery of Christ and a desire to promote the spirit of the Liturgy.

Any saint so considered would probably urge the same. Most all would probably endorse this post-conciliar effort to move feasts out of Lent, but not suffer a degree of schizo-liturgy:

It is especially necessary to ensure that the reasons which have led to the transfer of some feasts, for example from Lent to ordinary time, are not nullified in pastoral practice: follow the liturgical celebration of the Saint on the new date while continuing to observe the old date in popular piety. Such practices not only severely affect the harmony that should obtain between the Liturgy and popular piety, but also create duplication, confusion and disorder.

Do people do this? Observe the saint on the old day during Lent? The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy is online at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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