A Weekend For Saints?

There used to be lots of discussion in Catholic circles about holy days. Should they stay on the original day or moved to a nearby Sunday?

Epiphany and Corpus Christi vacated their days in the US long ago–almost out of living memory.

I find the mid-week holy days (or even the non-obligatory Monday/Saturday editions) to be enjoyable events. Even without parish festivity–which I think should be required for any “obligation” to take effect for lay parishioners.

In one parish where I served, a few singers commented how nice it was to combine people from the five Masses for the evening liturgy–singing and making music with people across the parish, worshiping with people they ordinarily didn’t see at “their” Mass.

I also think the holy day festivities are important enough to be celebrated across a wider group of laity. So, when mid-week liturgies see twenty or ten percent of the weekend population, it seems we are missing something.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to A Weekend For Saints?

  1. Liam says:

    In the USA, aside from rural or consolidated parishes that only have one weekend Mass on their roster, most parishes function as a cluster of sub-parishes, each tending to be oriented around a specific Mass in the weekend schedule. Ministers/staff, and families in a parochial school if there is one, would function a bit differently. I am aware of parishes that only schedule a single Mass for a Holyday of Obligation in the mid-morning hours, for when the staff is ready, it would seem.

    • Yes, the staff readiness thing. A colleague once visited a place well-known for its fruitful ministry to college students. They offered a daily Mass at 5:30pm, finding it an optimal time to catch young people in the university community. During semesters 300-ish were in attendance. My friend’s “convenient” noon Mass at her same-size state school? Fifty or so.

      Our lack of vision really hampers us.

  2. Devin Rice says:

    I like the British take. Midweek holy days are kept on the proper day, but if the day falls on a Saturday or Monday, the observance is transferred to the Sunday. Honestly I would do this not just for holy days but for any solemnity or feast that would out rank a Sunday. Such as Transfiguration or Holy Cross. I wish the American Church did that for Epiphany. I suspect the reason we don’t take up the British practice is that one of the Holy Days, the Immaculate Conception can’t outrank the nearby Sunday of Advent.

    My philosophy with holy days is that if people are not willing to come on a day other than Sunday, the transfer of the celebration to a Sunday will be of no more or different benefit for those same parishioners than the normal Sunday celebration.

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