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Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the New General Roman Calendar

by Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Pope Paul VI

Description

New translation of General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar which governs the Liturgical Calendar, published March 21, 1969. This was published following the approval of the new Roman Calendar by Paul VI in his Apostolic Letter Mysterii Paschalis issued on February 14, 1969. The authority for this motu proprio was Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, issued by the Second Vatican Council on December 4, 1963.

Publisher & Date

Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, March 21, 1969


UNIVERSAL NORMS ON THE LITURGICAL YEAR AND THE CALENDAR

CONTENTS


CHAPTER ONE: THE LITURGICAL YEAR
TITLE I: LITURGICAL DAYS
I. The Liturgical Day in General
II. Sunday
III. Solemnities, Feasts, and Memorials
IV. Weekdays
TITLE II: THE YEARLY CYCLE
I. Easter Triduum
II. Easter Season
III. Lent
IV. Christmas Season
V. Advent
VI. Ordinary Time
VII. Rogation and Ember Days
CHAPTER TWO: THE CALENDAR
TITLE I: CALENDAR AND CELEBRATIONS TO BE ENTERED
TITLE II: THE PROPER DATE FOR CELEBRATIONS
TABLE OF LITURGICAL DAYS ACCORDING TO THEIR ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
Notes


CHAPTER I

THE LITURGICAL YEAR

1. Holy Church celebrates the saving work of Christ on prescribed days in the course of the year with sacred remembrance. Each week, on the day called the Lord's Day, she commemorates the Resurrection of the Lord, which she also celebrates once a year in the great Paschal Solemnity, together with his blessed Passion. In fact, throughout the course of the year the Church unfolds the entire mystery of Christ and observes the birthdays of the Saints.

During the different periods of the liturgical year, in accord with traditional discipline, the Church completes the education of the faithful by means of both spiritual and bodily devotional practices, instruction, prayer, works of penance and works of mercy.[1]

2. The principles that follow can and must be applied both to the Roman Rite and all other Rites; however, the practical norms are to be understood as applying solely to the Roman Rite, except in the case of those that by their very nature also affect the other Rites.[2]

TITLE I - THE LITURGICAL DAYS

I. The Liturgical Day in General

3. Each and every day is sanctified by the liturgical celebrations of the People of God, especially by the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Divine Office. The liturgical day runs from midnight to midnight. However, the celebration of Sunday and of Solemnities begins already on the evening of the previous day.

II. Sunday

4. On the first day of each week, which is known as the Day of the Lord or the Lord's Day, the Church, by an apostolic tradition that draws its origin from the very day of the Resurrection of Christ, celebrates the Paschal Mystery. Hence, Sunday must be considered the primordial feast day.[3]

5. Because of its special importance, the celebration of Sunday gives way only to Solemnities and Feasts of the Lord; indeed, the Sundays of Advent, Lent and Easter have precedence over all Feasts of the Lord and over all Solemnities. In fact, Solemnities occurring on these Sundays are transferred to the following Monday unless they occur on Palm Sunday or on Sunday of the Lord's Resurrection.

6. Sunday excludes in principle the permanent assigning of any other celebration. However:

  1. the Sunday within the Octave of the Nativity is the Feast of the Holy Family;
  2. the Sunday following 6 January is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord;
  3. the Sunday after Pentecost is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity;
  4. the Last Sunday in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

7. Where the Solemnities of the Epiphany, the Ascension and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ are not observed as Holydays of Obligation, they should be assigned to a Sunday as their proper day in this manner:

  1. the Epiphany is assigned to the Sunday that falls between 2 January and 8 January;
  2. the Ascension to the Seventh Sunday of Easter;
  3. the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ to the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. [R1]

III. Solemnities, Feasts, and Memorials

8. In the cycle of the year, as she celebrates the mystery of Christ, the Church also venerates with a particular love the Blessed Mother of God, Mary, and proposes to the devotion of the faithful the Memorials of the Martyrs and other Saints.[4]

9. The Saints who have universal importance are celebrated in an obligatory way throughout the whole Church; other Saints are either inscribed in the calendar, but for optional celebration, or are left to be honored by a particular Church, or nation, or religious family.[5]

10. Celebrations, according to the importance assigned to them, are hence distinguished one from another and termed: Solemnity, Feast, Memorial.

11. Solemnities are counted among the most important days, whose celebration begins with First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) on the preceding day. Some Solemnities are also endowed with their own Vigil Mass, which is to be used on the evening of the preceding day, if an evening Mass is celebrated.

12. The celebration of the two greatest Solemnities, Easter and the Nativity, is extended over eight days. Each Octave is governed by its own rules.

13. Feasts are celebrated within the limits of the natural day; accordingly they have no First Vespers (Evening Prayer I), except in the case of Feasts of the Lord that fall on a Sunday in Ordinary Time or in Christmas Time and which replace the Sunday Office.[R2]

14. Memorials are either obligatory or optional; their observance is integrated into the celebration of the occurring weekday in accordance with the norms set forth in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and of the Liturgy of the Hours.

Obligatory Memorials which fall on weekdays of Lent may only be celebrated as Optional Memorials.

If several Optional Memorials are inscribed in the Calendar on the same day, only one may be celebrated, the others being omitted.

15. On Saturdays in Ordinary Time when no Obligatory Memorial occurs, an Optional Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary may be celebrated.

IV. Weekdays

16. The days of the week that follow Sunday are called weekdays; however, they are celebrated differently according to the importance of each.

  1. Ash Wednesday and the weekdays of Holy Week, from Monday up to and including Thursday, take precedence over all other celebrations.
  2. The weekdays of Advent from 17 December up to and including 24 December and all the weekdays of Lent have precedence over Obligatory Memorials.
  3. Other weekdays give way to all Solemnities and Feasts and are combined with Memorials.

TITLE II - THE CYCLE OF THE YEAR

17. Over the course of the year the Church celebrates the whole mystery of Christ, from the Incarnation to Pentecost Day and the days of waiting for the Advent of the Lord.[6]

I. The Paschal Triduum

18. Since Christ accomplished his work of human redemption and of the perfect glorification of God principally through his Paschal Mystery, in which by dying he has destroyed our death, and by rising restored our life, the sacred Paschal Triduum of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord shines forth as the high point of the entire liturgical year.[7] Therefore the preeminence that Sunday has in the week, the Solemnity of Easter has in the liturgical year.[8]

19. The Paschal Triduum of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord begins with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, has its center in the Easter Vigil, and closes with Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the Sunday of the Resurrection.

20. On Friday of the Passion of the Lord[9] (Good Friday) and, if appropriate, also on Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil,[10] the sacred Paschal Fast is everywhere observed. [d][R3]

21. The Easter Vigil, in the holy night when the Lord rose again, is considered the "mother of all holy Vigils,"[11] in which the Church, keeping watch, awaits the Resurrection of Christ and celebrates it in the Sacraments. Therefore, the entire celebration of this sacred Vigil must take place at night, so that it both begins after nightfall and ends before the dawn on the Sunday.[e]

II. Easter Time

22. The fifty days from the Sunday of the Resurrection to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated in joy and exultation as one feast day, indeed as one "great Sunday."[12]

These are the days above all others in which the Alleluia is sung.

23. The Sundays of this time of year are considered to be Sundays of Easter and are called, after Easter Sunday itself, the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Sundays of Easter. This sacred period of fifty days concludes with Pentecost Sunday.

24. The first eight days of Easter Time constitute the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord.

25. On the fortieth day after Easter the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated, except where, not being observed as a Holyday of Obligation, it has been assigned to the Seventh Sunday of Easter (cf. no. 7).[R4]

26. The weekdays from the Ascension up to and including the Saturday before Pentecost prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.

III. Lent

27. Lent is ordered to preparing for the celebration of Easter, since the Lenten liturgy prepares for celebration of the Paschal Mystery both catechumens, by the various stages of Christian Initiation, and the faithful, who recall their own Baptism and do penance.[13]

28. The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday up to but excluding the Mass of the Lord's Supper exclusive.

From the beginning of Lent until the Paschal Vigil, the Alleluia is not said.

29. On Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which is observed everywhere as a fast day,[14] ashes are distributed.[R5]

30. The Sundays of this time of year are called, the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent. The Sixth Sunday, on which Holy Week begins, is called "Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord."

31. Holy Week is ordered to the commemoration of Christ's Passion, beginning with his Messianic entrance into Jerusalem.

On Thursday of Holy Week, in the morning, the Bishop concelebrates Mass with his presbyterate and blesses the holy oils and consecrates the chrism.

IV. Christmas Time

32. After the annual celebration of the Paschal Mystery, the Church has no more ancient custom than celebrating the memorial of the Nativity of the Lord and of his first manifestations, and this takes place in Christmas Time.

33. Christmas Time runs from First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Nativity of the Lord up to and including the Sunday after Epiphany or after 6 January.

34. The Vigil Mass of the Nativity is used on the evening of 24 December, either before or after First Vespers (Evening Prayer I).

On the day of the Nativity of the Lord, following ancient Roman tradition, Mass may be celebrated three times, that is, in the night, at dawn and during the day. [R6]

35. The Nativity of the Lord has its own Octave, arranged thus:

  1. Sunday within the Octave or, if there is no Sunday, 30 December, is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph;
  2. 26 December is the Feast of Saint Stephen, the First Martyr;
  3. 27 December is the Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist;
  4. 28 December is the Feast of the Holy Innocents;
  5. 29, 30, and 31 December are days within the Octave;
  6. 1 January, the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, and also the commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

36. The Sunday falling between 2 January and 5 January is the Second Sunday after the Nativity [Christmas]. [R7]

37. The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated on 6 January, unless, where it is not observed as a Holyday of Obligation, it has been assigned to the Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January (see no. 7).

38. The Sunday falling after 6 January is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

V. Advent

39. Advent has a twofold character, for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight.

40. Advent begins with First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Sunday that falls on or closest to 30 November and it ends before First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of Christmas.[R8]

41. The Sundays of this time of year are named the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Sundays of Advent.

42. The weekdays from 17 December up to and including 24 December are ordered in a more direct way to preparing for the Nativity of the Lord.

VI. Ordinary Time

43. Besides the times of year that have their own distinctive character, there remain in the yearly cycle thirty-three or thirty-four weeks in which no particular aspect of the mystery of Christ is celebrated, but rather the mystery of Christ itself is honored in its fullness, especially on Sundays. This period is known as Ordinary Time.

44. Ordinary Time begins on the Monday which follows the Sunday occurring after 6 January and extends up to and including the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent; it begins again on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday and ends before First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the First Sunday of Advent.

During these times of the year there is used the series of formularies given for the Sundays and weekdays of this time both in the Missal and in the Liturgy of the Hours (Vol. III-IV).[f]

VII. Rogation Days and Ember Days

45. On Rogation and Ember Days the Church is accustomed to entreat the Lord for the various needs of humanity, especially for the fruits of the earth and for human labor, and to give thanks to him publicly.

46. In order that the Rogation Days and Ember Days may be adapted to the different regions and different needs of the faithful, the Conferences of Bishops should arrange the time and manner in which they are held.

Consequently, concerning their duration, whether they are to last one or more days, or be repeated in the course of the year, norms are to be established by the competent authority, taking into consideration local needs.

47. The Mass for each day of these celebrations should be chosen from among the Masses for Various Needs[g], and should be one which is more particularly appropriate to the purpose of the supplications.[R9]

CHAPTER II

THE CALENDAR

TITLE I - THE CALENDAR AND CELEBRATIONS TO BE INSCRIBED IN IT

48. The ordering of the celebration of the liturgical year is governed by a calendar, which is either general or particular, depending on whether it has been laid down for the use of the entire Roman Rite, or for the use of a Particular Church or religious family.

49. In the General Calendar is inscribed both the entire cycle of celebrations of the mystery of salvation in the Proper of Time, and that of those Saints who have universal significance and therefore are obligatorily celebrated by everyone, and of other Saints who demonstrate the universality and continuity of sainthood within the People of God.

Particular calendars, on the other hand, contain celebrations of a more proper character, appropriately combined organically with the general cycle.[15] For individual Churches or religious families show special honor to those Saints who are proper to them for some particular reason.

Particular calendars, however, are to be drawn up by the competent authority and approved by the Apostolic See.

50. In drawing up a particular calendar, attention should be paid to the following:

  1. The Proper of Time, that is, the cycle of Times, Solemnities, and Feasts by which the mystery of redemption is unfolded and honored during the liturgical year, must always be kept intact and enjoy its rightful preeminence over particular celebrations.
  2. Proper celebrations must be combined organically with universal celebrations, with attention to the rank and precedence indicated for each in the Table of Liturgical Days. So that particular calendars may not be overburdened, individual Saints should have only one celebration in the course of the liturgical year, although, where pastoral reasons recommend it, there may be another celebration in the form of an Optional Memorial marking the translatio or inventio of the bodies of Patron Saints or Founders of Churches or of religious families.
  3. Celebrations granted by indult should not duplicate other celebrations already occurring in the cycle of the mystery of salvation, nor should their number be increased out of proportion.

51. Although it is appropriate for each diocese to have its own Calendar and Proper for the Office and Mass, there is nevertheless nothing to prevent entire provinces, regions, nations, or even larger areas, having Calendars and Propers in common, prepared by cooperation among all concerned.

This principle may also be similarly observed in the case of religious calendars for several provinces under the same civil jurisdiction.

52. A particular calendar is prepared by the insertion in the General Calendar of proper Solemnities, Feasts and Memorials, that is:

  1. in a diocesan calendar, besides celebrations of Patrons and of the dedication of the Cathedral church,[R10] the Saints and Blessed who have special connections with the diocese, e.g., by their birth, residence over a long period, or their death;
  2. in a religious calendar, besides celebrations of the Title,[R11] the Founder and the Patron, those Saints and Blessed who were members of that religious family or had a special relationship with it;
  3. in calendars for individual churches, besides the proper celebrations of the diocese or religious family, celebrations proper to the church that are listed in the Table of Liturgical Days, and Saints whose body is kept in the church. Members of religious families, too, join the community of the local Church in celebrating the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral church and the principal Patrons of the place and of the wider region where they live.

53. When a diocese or religious family has the distinction of having many Saints and Blessed, care must be taken so that the calendar of the entire diocese or entire institute does not become overburdened. Consequently:

  1. A common celebration can, first of all, be held of all the Saints and Blessed of a diocese or religious family, or of some category among them.
  2. Only the Saints and Blessed of particular significance for the entire diocese or the entire religious family should be inscribed in the calendar as an individual celebration.
  3. The other Saints or Blessed should be celebrated only in those places with which they have closer ties or where their bodies are kept.

54. Proper celebrations should be inscribed in the Calendar as Obligatory or Optional Memorials, unless other provisions have been made for them in the Table of Liturgical Days, or there are special historical or pastoral reasons. There is no reason, however, why some celebrations may not be observed in certain places with greater solemnity than in the rest of the diocese or religious family.

55. Celebrations inscribed in a particular calendar must be observed by all who are bound to follow that calendar and may only be removed from the calendar or changed in rank with the approval of the Apostolic See.

TITLE II - THE PROPER DAY FOR CELEBRATIONS

56. The Church's practice has been to celebrate the Saints on their "birthday," a practice that it is appropriate to follow when proper celebrations are inscribed in particular calendars.

However, even though proper celebrations have special importance for individual particular Churches or individual religious families, it is greatly expedient that there be as much unity as possible in the celebration of Solemnities, Feasts and Obligatory Memorials inscribed in the General Calendar.

Consequently in inscribing proper celebrations in a particular calendar, the following should be observed:

  1. Celebrations that are also listed in the General Calendar are to be inscribed on the same date in a particular calendar, with a change if necessary in the rank of celebration.
    The same must be observed with regard to a diocesan or religious calendar for the inscription of celebrations proper to a single church.
  2. Celebrations of Saints not found in the General Calendar should be assigned to their "birthday." If this is not known, the celebrations should be assigned to a date proper to the Saint for some other reason, e.g., the date of ordination or of the inventio or translatio of the Saint's body; otherwise to a day that is free from other celebrations in the particular Calendar.[h]
  3. If, on the other hand, the "birthday" or other proper day is impeded by another obligatory celebration, even of lower rank, in the General Calendar or in a particular calendar, the celebration should be assigned to the closest date not so impeded.
  4. However, if it is a question of celebrations that for pastoral reasons cannot be transferred to another date, the impeding celebration must itself be transferred.[i]
  5. Other celebrations, termed celebrations by indult, should be inscribed on a date more pastorally appropriate.

    In order that the cycle of the liturgical year shine forth in all its clarity, but that the celebration of the Saints not be permanently impeded, dates that usually fall during Lent and the Octave of Easter, as well as the weekdays from 17 December to 31 December, should remain free of any particular celebration, unless it is a question of Obligatory Memorials, of Feasts found in the Table of Liturgical Days under no. 8: a, b, c, d, or of Solemnities that cannot be transferred to another time of the year.

The Solemnity of Saint Joseph, where it is observed as a Holyday of Obligation, should it fall on Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, is anticipated on the preceding Saturday, 18 March. Where, on the other hand, it is not observed as a Holyday of Obligation, it may be transferred by the Conference of Bishops to another day outside Lent.

57. If any Saints or Blessed are inscribed together in the Calendar, they are always celebrated together, whenever their celebrations are of equal rank, even though one or more of them may be more proper. If, however, the celebration of one or more of these Saints or Blessed is of a higher rank, the Office of this or those Saints or Blessed alone is celebrated and the celebration of the others is omitted, unless it is appropriate to assign them to another date in the form of an Obligatory Memorial.

58. For the pastoral good of the faithful, it is permitted to observe on Sundays in Ordinary Time those celebrations that fall during the week and that are agreeable to the devotion of the faithful, provided the celebrations rank above that Sunday in the Table of Liturgical Days. The Mass of such celebrations may be used at all the celebrations of Mass at which the people are present.[R12]

59. Precedence among liturgical days, as regards their celebration, is governed solely by the following Table.


TABLE OF LITURGICAL DAYS ACCORDING TO THEIR ORDER OF PRECEDENCE

I

1

  • The Paschal Triduum of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord.

2

  • The Nativity of the Lord, the Epiphany, the Ascension, and Pentecost.
  • Sundays of Advent, Lent and the Easter.
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Weekdays of Holy Week from Monday up to and including Thursday.
  • Days within the Octave of Easter

3

  • Solemnities inscribed in the General Calendar, whether of the Lord, of the Blessed Virgin Mary or of Saints.
  • The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed.

4

  • Proper Solemnities, namely:

a) The Solemnity of the principal Patron of the place, city or state.
b) The Solemnity of the dedication and of the anniversary of the dedication of one's own church.
c) The Solemnity of the Title of one's own church.
d) The Solemnity either of the Title or of the Founder or of the principal Patron of an Order or Congregation.

II

5

  • Feasts of the Lord inscribed in the General Calendar.[j][R13]

6

  • Sundays of Christmas Time and the Sundays in Ordinary Time.

7

  • Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints in the General Calendar

8

  • Proper feasts, namely:

a) The Feast of the principal Patron of the diocese.
b) The Feast of the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral church.
c) The Feast of the principal Patron of a region or province, or a country, or of a wider territory.
d) The Feast of the Title, Founder, or principal Patron of an Order or Congregation and of a religious province, without prejudice to the prescriptions given under no. 4.
e) Other Feasts proper to an individual church.
f) Other Feasts inscribed in the Calendar of each diocese or Order or Congregation.

9

  • Weekdays of Advent from 17 December up to and including 24 December.
  • Days within the Octave of Christmas
  • Weekdays of Lent

III

10

  • Obligatory Memorials in the General Calendar

11

  • Proper obligatory Memorials, namely:

a) The Memorial of a secondary Patron of the place, diocese, region, or religious province.

b) Other Obligatory Memorials inscribed in the Calendar of each diocese, or Order or Congregation..[k]

12

  • Optional Memorials, which, however, may be celebrated, in the special manner 12. described in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and of the Liturgy of the Hours, even on the days listed in no. 9.[l]
  • In the same manner Obligatory Memorials may be celebrated as Optional Memorials if they happen to fall on Lenten weekdays.

13

  • Weekdays of Advent up to and including 16 December.
  • Weekdays of Christmas Time from 2 January until the Saturday after the Epiphany.
  • Weekdays of the Easter Time from Monday after the Octave of Easter up to and including the Saturday before Pentecost..
  • Weekdays in Ordinary Time.

60. If several celebrations fall on the same day, the one that holds the highest rank according to the Table of Liturgical Days is observed. However, a Solemnity impeded by a liturgical day that takes precedence over it should be transferred to the closest day not listed under nos. 1-8 in the Table of Precedence, provided that what is laid down in no. 5 is observed. As to the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, whenever it falls on any day of Holy Week, it shall always be transferred to the Monday after the Second Sunday of Easter.[m][R14]

Other celebrations are omitted in that year.

61. Should on the other hand, Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the current day's Office and First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the following day be assigned for celebration on the same day, then Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the celebration with the higher rank in the Table of Liturgical Days takes precedence; in cases of equal rank, Vespers (Evening Prayer) of the current day takes precedence.[R15]

Endnotes

1 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, nos. 102-105.

2 Cf. ibidem, no. 3.

3 Cf. ibidem, no. 106.

4 Cf. ibidem, nos. 103-104.

5 Cf. ibidem, no. 111.

6 Cf. ibidem, no. 102.

7 Cf. ibidem, no. 5.

8 Cf. ibidem, no. 106.

9 Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution, Paenitemini, 17 February 1966, II § 3: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 58 (1966), p. 184.

10 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 110.

11 St. Augustine, Sermo: 219: PL 38, 1088.

12 St. Athanasius, Epistula. festalis: PG 26, 1366.

13 Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 109.

14 Cf. Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution, Paenitemini, 17 February 1966, II § 3: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 58 (1966), p. 184.

15 Cf. Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Instruction, Calendaria particularia, 24 June 1970: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 62 (1970), pp. 651-663.


[a] CR: "SS. Eucharistiae" for "SS. Corporis et Sangiunis Christi."

[b] CR lacks "and in the Christmas season."

[c] CR and MR'70: "in the general instructions for Mass and the divine office."

[d] CR adds: "The celebration of the Lord's passion takes place on Good Friday during the afternoon hours."

[e] CR: "beginning after nightfall and ending before the dawn of Sunday."

[f] CR and MR'70: "in both the Breviary and the Missal."

[g] CR and MR'70: "one of the votive Masses."

[h] CR lacks the entire second sentence.

[i] CR for 56 c and d has: "c. If however the date of death is unknown, the celebration should be assigned to another date proper to the same saint on other grounds, e.g., date of ordination, of the discovery or transfer of the saint's body, or else to a date in the particular calendar not impeded by other celebrations.

d. But if the date of death is impeded by another celebration of higher or equal rank in the General Calendar or the particular calendar, the celebration should be assigned to the closest date not so impeded."

[j] CR lacks "in the General Calendar."

[k] CR and MR'70: "11 b. Other obligatory memorials proper to an individual church." 11c is as 11 b here.

[l] CR and MR'70: "in the instructions for the Mass and the office."

[m] CR: "60. If several celebrations coincide on the same day, the one that holds the highest rank according to the preceding table is observed.

"But: a. If the coincidence is permanent, solemnities and feasts, as well as memorials of a particular calendar that are impeded throughout a diocese, a family of religious or its province, are assigned to the nearest day unimpeded by a solemnity or feast. Memorials of the General Calendar that are impeded in a particular calendar or memorials of a diocese or family of religious that are impeded only in a particular church are omitted.

b. If the coincidence is just on a particular occasion, a solemnity that is impeded by a liturgical day having precedence is transferred to the nearest day that is not one of those listed in nos. 1-8 of the table of precedence. Other celebrations are omitted that year."


[R1] Query: In regions where the solemnities of Epiphany, Ascension, and Corpus Christi are transferred to Sunday, how is the celebration of Mass and office to be structured?

        Reply: Considering the declaration made by the Congregation of Rites in 1968 (See Notitiae 4 [1968] 279), beginning in 1970 when the solemnities mentioned are transferred to Sunday, their celebration observes the following calendar: [calendar and offices follow]: Notitiae 5 (1969) 326-327, no. 8.

[R2] Query: For the feast of the Holy Family and of the Baptism of the Lord should Evening Prayer I be celebrated?

        Reply: Yes. (see General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar no. 13). As is clear from the table of precedence (ibid. no. 59, 6), Sundays of the Christmas season are equivalent in rank to Sundays in Ordinary Time and the feasts of the Lord that fall on such Sundays have an Evening Prayer I: Notitiae 5 (1969) 325, no. 5; here the word No appeared at the beginning of the Reply but was later corrected to Yes, ibid. 402.

[R3] Query: In the Roman Missal for Good Friday this rubric appears in no. 1: "Today and tomorrow the Church, on the basis of an age-old tradition, refrains altogether from celebrating the sacraments." Should this be taken to mean all the sacraments or only the sacrifice of the Mass?

        Reply: The rubric should be taken to refer only to the celebration of Mass. The words "refrains altogether from celebrating the sacraments" derive from a letter of Pope Innocent I to Decentius, in which there is the statement: "It is universally known that on these two days (that is, Friday and Saturday) the apostles were in mourning and were hiding for fear of the Jews; their fasting on these days is so certain that it is the Church's tradition to refrain altogether on these days from celebrating the sacraments" (Ep. 25, 4: PL 20, 555B-556A). In keeping with the practice of the first centuries, the holy fast of Easter that is observed on Good Friday and, if possible, on Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil (see General Norms . . . no. 20) includes also fasting, that is, refraining from the eucharistic celebration. This is the explanation and meaning of rubric no. 1 on Good Friday: Notitiae 13 (1977) 602.

[R4] Query: Since the vigil for the Ascension has been suppressed, what are the Mass and office for this day?

        Reply: The Mass is of the preceding Sunday; the office, for 1970, is that in the Roman Breviary, namely, of the vigil: Notitiae 5 (1969) 325, no. 7.

[R5] Query: May the following the done outside Mass: the blessing and distribution of ashes (Ash Wednesday), of palms (Palm Sunday), and of candles (Presentation)?

        Reply: For pastoral reasons the blessing and distribution of ashes may take take outside Mass (see MR, 180 [Roman Missal, rubric at the end of the Ash Wednesday Mass]). the other two rites are inseparably connected with the celebration of Mass, having the character of a procession as a solemn entrance rite: Notitiae 10 (1974) 80, no. 2.

[R6] 1. Query: May the Mass of the vigil of Christmas be celebrated in the morning on 24 December?

        Reply: No. The Mass is the Mass of the weekday. The idea of a vigil has been completely altered; vigils in the former way of observance no longer exist. Now in the evening of the day preceding certain solemnities the vigil's proper Mass is celebrated as already part of the solemnity; thus it is a festive Mass: Notitiae 5 (1969) 405, no. 21.

        2. Query: May the Christmas Mass at Midnight be celebrated in the evening of the Christmas vigil?

        Reply: The Christmas Mass at Midnight must be celebrated around midnight so that the celebration is authentic as to time. For the evening Mass in fulfillment of the precept the text to be used is that for the vigil Mass, as indicated in the rubrics of the Missal (MR 153 [Roman Missal, Christmas, Vigil Mass]: "This Mass is celebrated during the afternoon of 24 December, whether before of after Evening Prayer I of Christmas"): Notitiae 10 (1974) 80, no. 1.

[R7] Query: What Mass is to be celebrated on the Second Sunday after Christmas?

        Reply: The Mass to be provided by the reformed Roman Missal; otherwise, the Mass in the current Roman Missal for the Sunday after Christmas: Notitiae 5 (1969) 325, no. 6.

[R8] Query: Is a commemoration of the weekday to be made on solemnities that fall during Advent or Lent?

        Reply: No. There is no commemoration either in the Mass or in the office: Notitiae 5 (1969) 405, no. 19.

[R9] Query: How should rogation days and ember days be celebrated?

        Reply: In regard to the time and the manner of celebration, the directives of the conference of bishops or of the individual bishops are to be followed. On the former rogation and ember days the Mass and office were those of the weekday or of the saints. But the bishop or the conference of bishops has the power to order special celebrations on those days; the celebrations may be varied, e.g., for rural or for urban settings, and may relate to different themes, like the harvest, peace, the unity of the Church, the spread of the faith, etc. In this case the votive Mass suited to the occasion is celebrated: Notitiae 5 (1969) 405.

[R10] Query: Must the anniversary of the dedication of a co-cathedral church be celebrated throughout the diocese?

        Reply: No. Celebration of the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral church is observed on the annual date of the consecration in the cathedral itself with the rank of a solemnity; in other churches of the diocese, with the rank of a feast. When co-cathedrals exist in a diocese, the anniversary of their dedication is observed in the dedicated church alone, not throughout the diocese. The reason is that the title of co-cathedral is usually given to churches on the basis of some special importance they have had in the history of the diocese. but there is only one cathedral church, the symbol of the unity of the local Church, and only its dedication ought to be celebrated throughout the diocese. But when one diocese has been formed from many former dioceses each of which retains a certain measure of individual unity -- e.g., having a curia and chapter -- each may celebrate the anniversary of its own cathedral: Notitiae 9 (1973) 152.

Notitiae 8 (1972) 103 gives the following commentary on no. 52a, annual celebration of the dedication of a church. The annual observance of the dedication of a church celebrates the mystery of the living Church, that is, the people of God in pilgrimage to the new Jerusalem. The reformed rite for the dedication of a church, soon to be published, sets out the norms that follow; their purpose is to give due importance to this annual celebration, while at the same time ensuring its harmony with the liturgical cycle and with the elements of popular devotion.

I. Anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral. The anniversary of the dedication of a cathedral church is to be observed on the date of the church's consecration, with the rank of a solemnity in the cathedral itself and of a feast in the other churches of the diocese. When this date is impeded perpetually, the celebration is assigned to the nearest unimpeded date. It is desirable that the faithful of the entire diocese come together on the day of the celebration to celebrate the eucharist with the bishop.

II. Anniversary of a particular church. One of the following days may be chosen for the celebration of the dedication of a particular church: a. the anniversary date of its consecration, when traditionally this day is marked as a festive day for the people or for a community, as, for example, in monastic churches;

b. the Sunday nearest the anniversary date, if it is a Sunday in Ordinary Time;

c. the Sunday before the solemnity of All Saints, in order to focus on the bond between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven. The choice is to be made once and for all by the local community, with the bishop's approval. In the case of a church with an unknown date of dedication, the choice is between the Sunday before the solemnity of All Saints and 25 October. In a church that is built on the site of an earlier, consecrated church, but hat has itself not been dedicated, the anniversary of the earlier dedication may be celebrated on a date to be chosen according to the norms just given.

[R11] Query: Must the title of church be changed when it presents a historical problem or is no longer listed in the General Calendar?

        Reply: No. Every church retains its title and celebrates the corresponding feast even if the General Calendar no longer carries the title. At the time of the study preparatory to a revision of the particular calendars, the question of titles might well be brought up and dealt with in the light not only of historicity but also of the spiritual and pastoral values affecting the faithful: Notitiae 5 (1969) 404, no. 18.

[R12] 1. Query: May the anniversary of the dedication of a church and the solemnity of the patron or title of a church be transferred to a Sunday?

        Reply: Yes, in the following case: the Sunday is in Ordinary Time or in the Christmas season and the anniversary is of a particular church or the solemnity is of the principal patron of a specific place or of the title of a particular church. All Masses with a congregation may be the Mass for such celebrations (see General Norms . . . no. 58).

No, if the transfer would be to a Sunday of Advent, Lent, or the Easter season, or to one on which any solemnity of the Lord, of Mary, or of the saints listed in the General Calendar falls; or if the celebration involves the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral church or the patron of a region or nation or a secondary patron: Notitiae 5 (1969) 404, no. 16.

        2. Query: May the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral be celebrated on a Sunday in Ordinary Time?

        Reply: No. The case involves celebrating a particular feast of the Lord throughout a diocese (see General Norms . . . no. 52 a, c). In the Table of Liturgical Days (no. 5) only feasts of the Lord listed in the General Calendar take precedence over Sundays of the Christmas season and Sundays in Ordinary Time; proper feasts do not and the celebration of the dedication of the cathedral Church is a proper feast (Table . . . no. 8 b). The basis for this rule is to safeguard the special character of Sunday and to prevent it from being supplanted by other celebrations. However, an instance may happen, for example, on the occasion of a renovation or a special anniversary, when the bishop of a diocese wishes to stress the importance of the cathedral as the symbol of the unity of the local Church by bringing together the entire diocesan community at the same celebration. Often this is possible only on a Sunday. In such an instance the bishop may use the power granted him by the GIRM no. 332: "In cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the direction of the local Ordinary or with his permission, an appropriate Mass may be celebrated on any day except solemnities, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter season, on days within the octave of Easter, on All Souls, Ash Wednesday, and during Holy Week": Notitiae 11 (1975) 61.

[R13] (59, 3 and 5). Query: [This year] 14 September and 9 November will fall on a Sunday in Ordinary Time. What should the celebrations be on these dates?

        Reply: On 14 September, the feast of the Triumph of the Cross; on 9 November, the feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran. Notitiae 10 (1974) 40, no. 3.

[R14] Query: What is the method for transferring solemnities impeded by a liturgical day that takes precedence?

        Reply: the general rule is that impeded solemnities are transferred to the nearest day (see General Norms . . . no. 60). But solemnities that happen to fall on the Sundays of Advent and Lent sometimes are not transferable to the day following: for example, when the solemnity of Saint Joseph or of the Annunciation of the Lord fall on Palm Sunday and then would have to be celebrated two weeks later. Accordingly, to ease such problems the General Norms no. 5 establish that solemnities that during Advent and Lent may fall on a Sunday are to be celebrated as a rule on the preceding Saturday. But when the Saturday is not free of those celebrations listed in the table of precedence nos. 1-8, the general principle in no. 60 may be followed: Notitiae 6 (1970) 405, no. 44. See also note R12.

[R15] The text for the Litany of the Saints published in CR (pp. 32-39) was amended in 1970:

The following changes are to be incorporated into the Litany of the Saints.

1. The name Saint John the Baptist is to be placed immediately after the name Saint Elijah [English: Abraham, Moses, and Elijah] and before the name of Saint Joseph.

2. The name Saint Stanislaus (Bishop and Martyr) is to be inserted after the name of Saint Boniface and before the name of Saint Thomas Becket. This second change applies, however, only to the Litany in the form for use in solemn supplications: Notitiae 6 (1970) 375.  

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