Calendar 2018-2019

The monthly calendar pages for 2018 – 2019 are now available.

One particular date has been queried by a coupe of people and may be helpful to explain the reason behind. Next year the Solemnity of St George in England will fall on Tuesday 30 April. The rules governing the transfer of dates are explained in the Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year – (pdf text). Next year the usual date for St George (23 April) falls in the Easter Octave. The eight days of the first week of Easter are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord and take precedence over other celebrations. This means that other celebrations, such as the Feast of St Mark (25/4), are not celebrated next year. Solemnities, because of their importance are transferred to the next available day.

This is explained in paragraph 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.

Paragraph 5 9s about the pre-eminence of Sunday, particularly in Advent,Lent and Easter. Nos. 1-8 of the table of precedence are:


  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 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:
    1. The Solemnity of the principal Patron of the place, city or state.
    2. The Solemnity of the dedication and of the anniversary of the dedication of one’s own church.
    3. The Solemnity of the Title of one’s own church.
    4. The Solemnity either of the Title
      or of the Founder
      or of the principal Patron of an Order or Congregation.
  5. Feasts of the Lord inscribed in the General Calendar.
  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:
    1. The Feast of the principal Patron of the diocese.
    2. The Feast of the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral church.
    3. The Feast of the principal Patron of a region or province, or a country, or of a wider territory.
    4. 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.
    5. Other feasts proper to an individual church.
    6. Other Feasts inscribed in the calendar of each diocese or Order or Congregation.

So St George as the Solemnity of the principal Patron of the place, city or state.(4.1) is transferred to the next available day outside the Octave of Easter. Monday 29 April is the Feast of St Catherine of Siena, patron of Europe is ‘the Feast of the principal Patron of a region or province, or a country, or of a wider territory’ (8.3) and so the Solemnity of St George has to be transferred to Tuesday 30 April.

Cycle of Prayer – Intercessions & Bible Sunday

Model Intercessions

The Cycle of Prayer is how the various days of special prayer are organised into a whole year’s calendar. When it was created in 1996 the hope was that parishes and communities would reflect, pray and act on the various intentions within a particular season. For many of the intentions there is a specific day and a Church agency which sends out material. To help promote some of the intentions which do not have as much prominence and also to offer for all the intentions a handy compilation of prayers the Liturgy Committee has prepared a couple of model intercessions for every intention in the Cycle of Prayer. These can be used or adapted in parishes and communities on the designated days and at other times.

Bible Sunday

In Pope Francis’ letter at the end of the Year of Mercy he commended the idea of a Sunday which focussed on the Scriptures. In England and Wales this is marked on the 2nd Sunday of Advent. This year the Scripture Working Group of the Bishops’ Conference has prepared a series of resources under the title of ‘Welcome the Word’. Rather than focus on one particular day there is material for the whole of the Advent – Christmas – Epiphany season. As well material focussed on the ministry of reader and psalmist, looking at the Lectionary for the Year of Mark; there are reflections on art and scripture and other aspects of God’s word.

The resources can be freely downloaded from the Bishops’ Conference website.

 

Holydays of Obligation

With effect from the 1st Sunday of Advent 2017, two holydays of obligation are being reinstated. This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and has been confirmed by the Holy See. The days are:

  • The Epiphany of the Lord — 6 January (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday)
  • The Ascension of the Lord — Thursday after 6th Sunday of Easter

The Holydays of Obligation for England and Wales are therefore:

  • According to a decision of the Bishops’ Conference (1984) Holydays which fall on Saturday or Monday are transferred to the Sunday.

The Bishops decided to retain the decision made in 2006 for the Body and Blood of the Lord to be transferred to Sunday as it allowed for Eucharistic Processions and other devotional practices to be celebrated.

For further information:

Liturgical Calendar 2017

The monthly Liturgical Calendar for 2017 has now been published. As with each iteration of the calendar the year has its uncommon features. As the Epiphany of the Lord falls on Sunday 8 January, the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on Monday 9 January. The current Lectionary does not make clear that when a Feast of the Lord is celebrated on a weekday there is only one reading before the Gospel, in line with other Feasts — either first or second reading may be chosen. Therefore, this year, when the Transfiguration of the Lord does fall on a Sunday it has 2 readings before the Gospel.  Two Solemnities are transferred: St Joseph to Monday 20 March, St George to Monday 24 April.

Draft Calendar Notes for 2018 (pdf) are available.

The Congregation for Divine Worship recently published a list of additions to the Lectionary, mainly those Saints which have been added to the Universal Calendar. An English version of the list is available with references to the current Lectionary.

Feast of St Mary Magdalene

Fra Angelico - Noli me tangereOn Friday 10 June the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments announced that the celebration of St Mary Magdalene on 22 July had been raised to a Feast. The decree recognises St Mary Magdalene as first witness to the Resurrection and the first evangelist. Called by St Thomas Aquinas  an ‘apostle of the apostles’.

The Decree can be found on the Vatican website. The Latin decree includes a new Preface for the feast which will be translated into English in due time.

90th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen

The Bishops’ Conference establishes that, at all Sunday Masses on 11–12 June 2016, each parish prays for Her Majesty the Queen to mark her 90th birthday by including such an intention in the Bidding Prayers and by reciting at the end of Mass (after the Prayer after Communion and before the Final Blessing) the Prayer for the Queen.

Parishes may also wish to sing the chant Domine, salvum fac and/or the National Anthem.

The Prayer for the Queen and additional resources are available here.

Recent Additions

The following resources are now available on the Liturgy Office website:

Calendar Notes 2017

The annual Calendar Notes for 2017 are now available as well as the draft Notes for 2018:

Easter Vigil: Sacraments of Initiation & Rite of Reception

With the publication of the Order of Confirmation which comes into  use at Easter 2016 this may affects the celebration of the Easter Vigil where Confirmation takes place. As a guide for celebrants the text of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Appendix I has been updated with texts from the Roman Missal and the Order of Confirmation. 

Bishops’ Conference – November 2015

At the plenary meeting of the Bishops’ Conference in November 2015 the following decisions were made relating to the liturgy of the Church:

Revised Grail Psalter

The Bishops’ Conference supports the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in preparing a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours. This will include the use of the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in future editions of the Liturgy of the Hours in England and Wales.

National Calendar for England: Proper texts for the Divine Office

The Bishops’ Conference asks that further work be done on the Proper Texts in the Liturgy of the Hours for the National Calendar of England.

Lectionary

The Bishops’ Conference agrees to seek the approval of the Holy See for the use of the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic edition 2010) and the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in the preparation of a Lectionary for use in England and Wales.

For a complete list of resolutions.

Pope Francis announces World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

In a letter published on 6 August Pope Francis has announced a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation:

Sharing the concern of my beloved brother, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for the future of creation (cf. Laudato Si’, 7-9), and at the suggestion of his representative, Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum, who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to institute in the Catholic Church the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, is to be celebrated on 1 September, as has been the custom in the Orthodox Church for some time.

The purpose of the day will be to

offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live. The celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters. We live at a time when all Christians are faced with the same decisive challenges, to which we must respond together, in order to be more credible and effective. It is my hope that this Day will in some way also involve other Churches and ecclesial Communities, and be celebrated in union with similar initiatives of the World Council of Churches.

The day has been incorporated into the Cycle of Prayer under the Autumn Intention: The Harvest, the Fruits of Human Work, and the Reverent Use of Creation.

Bishops’ Conference News

Liturgical Calendar 2016

The monthly Liturgical Calendar for 2016 has now been posted to the website.

For those wishing to look ahead the draft Calendar Notes for 2017 are available here.

Additions to the Calendar

The following celebrations have been added to the Universal Calendar: 11 October – St John XXIII, 22 October – St John Paul II. Both are Optional Memorials.

Changes to the Cycle of Prayer

The Cycle of Prayer is how the Days of Special Prayer are organised with an encouragement that appropriate prayer and activity takes place within the season.

The Bishops’ Conference has made a number of changes to the Cycle of Prayer which are effective from 2016:

  • Education Day to 2nd Sunday in September
  • Day for Life to the 3rd Sunday in June.
  • Racial Justice Day to 3 Sundays before the 1st Sunday of Lent

Summary of dates 2016

Sundays: Year C
Weekdays: Year II

1st Sunday of Advent Sunday 29 November 2015
Christmas Friday 25 December 2015
Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 3 January 2015
Ash Wednesday Wednesday 10 February
Easter Sunday Sunday 27 March
Ascension of the Lord Sunday 8 May
Pentecost Sunday 15 May
Body and Blood of the Lord Sunday 29 May
St Peter & St Paul Wednesday 29 June
The Assumption Sunday 14 August
All Saints Tuesday 1 November
All Souls Wednesday 2 November

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