Patronal Solemnity
  • My Parish is under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist whose Feast, this year, falls on a Sunday (December 27.) This Sunday also happens to be the Feast of the Holy Family. I had initially assumed Holy Family had a higher precedence and we would have to transfer the Feast of St. John if we wanted to observe it, but I didn't realize HF was ACTUALLY only classified as a Feast, rather than a Solemnity. It also seems that my Parish might be OBLIGATED to observe the *Solemnity* of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist over Feast of the Holy Family. Any thoughts? I have an email into my Director of Worship, but figured it would be a good discussion to have here.
  • Feasts of the Lord, no matter the actual rank, always outrank everything else. I would imagine Holy Family would outrank St. John the Evangelist. I seem to remember something regarding Feasts during Christmastide as well, but I can't recall the exact stipulations.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,669
    Yeah I'm pretty sure the response you'll get from the Office of Worship will be to do Holy Family. However, you could ask for permission from the Ordinary to transfer your Patronal Feast to another date, like the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Feast of your Patron is an important date and shouldn't just disappear.
  • I am quite sure that your patronal solemnity is necessarily to be observed, even if it's on the Sunday during the Octave of Christmas. A similar thing occurred a few years ago, when Holy Family occurred on December 26; since in the archdiocese of Vienna he is the patron of the Cathedral and the archdiocese, his solemnity was observed on the Sunday of the Holy Family. (Since St Stephen is a Holyday of Obligation in Germany and Austria it was quite noticeable when chatting with fellow Catholics from Vienna.)
  • I had been under the impression that a patronal feast assumed, for the relevant parishes, the rank of solemnity and took precedence over all else. I do stand to be corrected by someone who knows better. This is nice to know.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    See the Table of Precedence of Liturgical Days.\

    [Update: the text at that link is outdated, as it is from the old edition of the Roman Missal. See the Latin text further down in this thread for a more reliable version. --chonak]
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,360
    So it appears that if St. Stephen is the principal patron of the city of Vienna, his liturgical commemoration in that city would rank as no. 4a on the Table of Precedence of Liturgical Days and would have precedence over the feast of the Holy Family. If, on the other hand, St. Stephen is the principal patron of the archdiocese of Vienna, but not of the city itself, his liturgical commemoration in that archdiocese would rank as no. 8a on the Table of Precedence and would not have precedence over the feast of the Holy Family.
  • And, what, then, does that say about St Stephen?

    (We have 'moveable feasts', and we have, it would seem, 'variable feasts' - it just depends on whether you are in city hall or the archbishop's cathedral, or....)
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,360
    And, what, then, does that say about St Stephen?

    It says that having him as the principal patron of a city or state outranks having him as the principal patron of a diocese. But, in either case, the Church's concern is about the liturgical commemoration of the saint, not civic celebrations in his honor.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,360
    More on the patron saint of the city of Vienna? Or more confusion?

    http://www.cssr-europe.com/?p=543
  • The verdict of the Office of Worship is that our Patron outranks Holy Family.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,360
    Your OoW may be correct if your parish church was dedicated on December 27. Otherwise, its "verdict" merits a failing grade in Liturgical Law 101.
  • Fr. Krisman - where do you see this Feast falling, categorically, on the Table of Precedence? 8e?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,778
    St George is not very highly rated in the General Calendar, but in England he gets a solemnity. I suspect that the situation is similar for St Stephen in Austria, the national calendar probably has a solemnity even though the General Calendar is a feast.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,360
    @a-f-hawkins: If your suspicion is borne out and the rank of St. Stephen has been raised to "solemnity" in the particular calendar either of Austria or the archdiocese of Vienna, that liturgical day would have precedence over the feast of the Holy Family when the latter occurs on December 26. I searched the internet last night and found several listings of the Roman calendar in German, even some for Austria, but I only found St. Stephen listed with the rank of "Fest," (feast), and never "Hochfest" (solemnity). Perhaps someone else can find the listing which supports your suspicion; I could not.

    @bkenny27: St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (December 27) already has the rank of feast in the General Roman Calendar. That is category 7 on the Table of Precedence of Liturgical Days. Had St. John's Day only been an obligatory memorial in the General Roman Calendar, raising its rank to feast for a parish which has him as principal patron would place it in category 8e on the Table of Precedence. According to the GNLYC no feast of a saint ever takes precedence over a feast of the Lord, which Holy Family is.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Liam
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,862
    Wouldn't it just be easier if the rubrics were changed to revert back to the old practice of having multiple collects? Holy Family with the Commemoration of St. John.
    Thanked by 2bkenney27 Jahaza
  • Salieri,
    [Purple]
    Why do you hate the Pope? Why do you prefer the evils of Renaissance princes to the church of ordinary people? Why do you want to end the people's participation at Mass.
    [purple off] ,
  • @Salieri - YES, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY! [Literally]
  • Wouldn't it just be easier if the rubrics were changed to revert back to the old practice of having multiple collects? Holy Family with the Commemoration of St. John.


    Well, sure, but then mass might last more than 57 minutes.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • The Ordo of the Archdiocese of Vienna for the year 2014/15 spells out on page 63 that St Stephen is observed as a solemnity (the H in the left column is for "Hochfest", solemnity), because he is the principal patron of the Metropolitan church. (The city patron of Vienna and the patron of Lower Austria are St Clemens Maria Hofbauer and St Leopold respectively, so they don't apply here.)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen ronkrisman
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 468
    Well, sure, but then mass might last more than 57 minutes.

    We Russians can have multiple feasts commemorated in one Liturgy. But even when there's only one that liturgy's gonna take more than an hour.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW hilluminar
  • cmb
    Posts: 68
    The link @chonak posted appears to have a slight error that seems to be contributing to the confusion here. The link says:
    4. Proper Solemnities, namely:
    a. Solemnity of the principal patron of the place, that is, the city or state.


    The actual language in the Missal says:
    4. Proper Solemnities, namely:
    a) the Solemnity of the principal patron of the place, city, or state.


    So, "place" could easily mean the parish, and the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, raised to a solemnity in his patronal church would outrank the Feast of the Holy Family.
    Thanked by 1bkenney27
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    In case it might help, here is the Latin text from the MR2002:
    4. Sollemnitates propriæ, nempe:
    a) Sollemnitas Patroni principalis loci seu oppidi aut civitatis.
    b) Sollemnitas dedicationis et anniversarii dedicationis ecclesiæ propriæ.
    c) Sollemnitas Tituli ecclesiæ propriæ.
    d) Sollemnitas aut Tituli,
    aut Fundatoris,
    aut Patroni principalis Ordinis seu Congregationis.
    Thanked by 2ronkrisman eft94530
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,360
    @cmb is correct about the wording in the present English-language Roman Missal for the USA. But that wording clearly is erroneous. The Latin text is what is critical. The 1969 text of the Normae Universales de anno liturgico et de calendario (unchanged in the MR2002, as quoted above by @chonak) is: [4] a) Sollemnitas Patroni principalis loci seu oppidi aut civitatis.

    "seu/sive" is not synonymous with "aut" or "vel"

    The correct translation of the Latin norm should read: the Solemnity of the principal patron of the place, whether the city or the state.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • cmb
    Posts: 68
    Mea culpa. (Or ICEL's culpa.)

    So, should a parish's patronal feast rank as an 8e? If so, that seems counter to the common practice of transferring a parish feast day to a Sunday during OT.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,360
    So, should a parish's patronal feast rank as an 8e?

    Yes, unless that day is already a solemnity in the General Roman Calendar.
    If so, that seems counter to the common practice of transferring a parish feast day to a Sunday during OT.

    Yes, it is. But the "common practice" is understandable: parishioners want to honor their patron annually, but not to the extent that they would actually come out in significant number on a weekday.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,740
    Maybe I'm cynical, but I think "want" might be too strong to describe the level of devotion in most parishes for their patrons. It's more like:

    Parishioners don't object to honoring their patron annually....
  • Perhaps I miss something, but wouldn't the patronal feast rank as 4c according to the above citation from MR2002?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,393
    There being a nuanced distinction between title and patron - which are often, but not always, the same (though a difference seems to be less common in the countries like the USA where Catholic churches don't tend to have layers of multiple dedications in successive rebuildings) . . . .