Chapter II-b. The Proper Date for Celebrations
56. The Church's practice has been to celebrate the saints on the date of their
death ("birthday"), a practice it would be well to follow when
entering proper celebrations in particular calendars.
Even though proper celebrations have special importance for individual local
Churches or religious families, it is of great advantage that there be as much
unity as possible in the observance of solemnities, feasts, and obligatory
memorials listed in the General Calendar.
In entering proper celebrations in a particular calendar, therefore, the
following are to be observed:
a. Celebrations listed in the General Calendar are to be entered on the
same date in a particular calendar, with a change in rank of celebration if
This also applies to diocesan or religious calendars when celebrations
proper to an individual church alone are added.
b. Celebrations for saints not included in the General Calendar should be
assigned to the date of their death. If the date of death is not known, the
celebrations should be assigned to a date associated with the saint on some
other grounds, such as the date of ordination or of the discovery or transfer
of the saint's body; otherwise it is celebrated on a date unimpeded by other
celebrations in that particular calendar.
c. If the date of death or other appropriate date is impeded in the General
Calendar or in a particular calendar by another obligatory celebration, even
of lower rank, the celebrations should be assigned to the closest date not so
d. If, however, it is a question of celebrations that cannot be transferred
to another date because of pastoral reasons, the impeding celebration should
itself be transferred.
e. Other celebrations, called feasts granted by indult, should be entered
on a date more pastorally appropriate.
f. The cycle of the liturgical year should stand out with its full preeminence,
but at the same time the celebration of the saints should not be permanently
impeded. Therefore, dates that most of the time fall during Lent and the octave
of Easter, as well as the weekdays between 17 December and 31 December, should
remain free of any particular celebration, unless it is a question of optional
memorials, feasts found in the Table of Liturgical Days under no. 8 a, b, c, d,
or solemnities that cannot be transferred to another season.
The solemnity of Saint Joseph (19 March), except where it is observed as a
holyday of obligation, may be transferred by the conferences of bishops to another
day outside Lent.
57. If some saints or blessed are listed in the calendar on the same date, they
are always celebrated together whenever they are of equal rank, even though one or
more of them may be more proper to that calendar. If one or other of these saints
or blessed is to be celebrated with a higher rank, that office alone is observed
and the others are omitted, unless it is appropriate to assign them to another date
in the form of an obligatory memorial.
58. For the pastoral advantage of the people, it is permissible to observe on the
Sundays in Ordinary Time those celebrations that fall during the week and have special
appeal to the devotion of the faithful, provided the celebrations take precedence
over these Sundays in the Table of Liturgical Days. The Mass for such celebrations may
be used at all the Masses at which a congregation is present.
59. Precedence among liturgical days relative to the celebration is governed solely
by the following table.
60. If several celebrations fall on the same day, the one that holds
the highest rank according to the preceding Table of Liturgical Days
is observed. But a solemnity impeded by a liturgical day that takes
precedence over it should be transferred to the closest day not listed
in nos. 1-8 in the table of precedence; the rule of no. 5 remains in
effect. Other celebrations are omitted that year.
61. If the same day were to call for celebration of evening prayer of
that day's office and evening prayer I of the following day, evening
prayer of the day with the higher rank in the Table of Liturgical Days
takes precedence; in cases of equal rank, evening prayer of the actual
day takes precedence.