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Transferring Holy Days &
Praying the Rosary

Solemnizing a Feast on Sunday
People Commenting
Dear TIA,

This morning I was somewhat thrown off when the priest celebrant of the Mass I attend at an SSPX chapel directed us to turn our missals over to the Feast of Corpus Christi (not the Second Sunday after Pentecost), indicating that the Church had given permission to solemnize important feasts on Sundays. It's my understanding that the Feast of Corpus Christi was also celebrated on its proper date, June 3.

This solemnization on Sunday was not done with the Feast of the Ascension, May 13, a Thursday and a Holy Day of Obligation - wherein we were instructed to attend under pain of mortal sin.

My question: Is this trend of solemnizing major feasts occurring during the week on Sundays a traditional practice? The same will apparently be done for the upcoming Feast of the Sacred Heart, on June 11. It too will be celebrated on its proper date and then solemnized in place of the Third Sunday after Pentecost on Sunday, June 13.

I have no opinion on this matter yet because I am not knowledgeable about it.

Any illumination on your part would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


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TIA responds:

Dear S.K.,

Without being experts on the liturgical calendar, we have these observations to offer in order to help you:
  1. The feast of Corpus Christi is a moveable feast of the liturgical calendar celebrated traditionally on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which this year fell on June 3, 2010.

  2. In 1970 Paul VI merged the feast of the Most Holy Blood of Our Lord, which was celebrated on July 1st as a fixed feast, with the feast of Corpus Christi.

  3. In 1983 the American Bishops issued a decree transferring to Sunday feast days of obligation traditionally celebrated during the week. The feast of Corpus Christi was transferred to the Second Sunday after Pentecost. This decision was duly approved by the Vatican. (Read the Bishops decree here)

  4. The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is also a moveable feast celebrated Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, which this year fell on June 11, 2010.

  5. In 1856 Pius IX declared the Sacred Heart a feast day for the entire Church; notwithstanding, the American Bishops did not include it as a day of obligation.

  6. Consequently, there is no private legislation on this feast, but only the "spirit" of the previous decision of transferring days of obligation to the next Sunday.
It seems that this transferring of the feast days during the week to Sunday is a way to lead them into oblivion, although the Bishops allege that it is to solemnize them. In any circumstance, it is a consequence of the liturgical liberties granted by the recent Popes in the wake of the Vatican II Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium.

In the decree of the American Bishops transferring these feasts to Sundays, it is not clear whether to do so is optional or obligatory. We do not know if any further legislation was issued clarifying this specific point.

If it is obligatory, the SSPX priest you mentioned is taking a step to adapt his parish to the official legislation of the American Bishops, which makes one wonder whether he is following a general orientation of the SSPX.

If it is optional, that priest is voluntarily showing his willingness to merge with the official Vatican II Church, which may also be expressive of a general policy.

We hope these observations will help you,


     TIA correspondent desk

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Rosary or Divine Mercy?
People Commenting

I would be most grateful for your advice.

I was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith as a baby of a few weeks. My parents were already lapsed and that was the only time they ever took me into a church apart from a handful of family weddings, christenings and funerals.

As a child we lived opposite the church where I had received the sacrament of Baptism, and I used to watch the congregation entering the church on Sundays and long to go with them.

I married a Catholic man but we were not practicing. We had our children baptized but did not attend Mass after that. When our son and daughter were 8 and 9, we wanted them to make their First Holy Communion and approached our local church. They were welcomed with open arms, and the catechist gave us all a little medal on a thread of cotton. We put them around our necks and I was so delighted to at last satisfy this incredible longing.

One night shortly after that, my son was unwell with a slight cold and high temperature. He came into our bed and my husband went into his room. I went back to sleep and in the early hours woke up to go to the bathroom. When I came back to my room I climbed onto the bottom of the bed and saw a miracle. From the medal around my little boy's neck was a beam of brilliant light. It was about the width of a pencil and around 4 feet in length.

What appeared to be suspended from the end of the light was a tiny hand, about the size of a baby's hand, but it had the appearance of an adult hand.

Hanging from this miniature hand was a miniature red rosary. I was afraid to breathe and did not move a muscle for the few seconds I was so privileged to see this glorious vision.

At that time I did not know anything about the Miraculous Medals we were wearing and had never said the Rosary. I learned as much as I could after that and said the Divine Mercy at 3 O'clock.

However, I don't think I am saying the rosary properly and I don't know who to ask. I have not said it as faithfully as I should and want to obey whatever that vision meant for me.

My son is now 21 and I am overcome with guilt sometimes for all the rosaries I have not said.

I know that it is very important for me to do this but I need to learn with someone who can show me properly.

I cannot tell anyone what happened so I am a bit stuck. I told my husband and he says the Divine Mercy daily, more faithfully than I do. What does it mean? Is the Divine Mercy a substitute for saying the traditional rosary or should I be saying both?

I would love to receive your advice.

    God Bless


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TIA responds:


We thank you for the trust you reveal in us by relating your mystical experience. We believe that incidents like the one you described may be happening in these days more than one imagines. Indeed, given the almost total abandonment most faithful Catholics are experiencing with regard to a secure orientation from the religious authorities, Our Lady may be acting directly in their souls to guide them.

We encourage you to pray the Rosary correctly over any other devotion. You may read this article to help you be constant in this holy practice. If you have the time to say your complete Rosary, the devotion of Divine Mercy is excellent. But the latter does not substitute for the former.


     TIA correspondence desk

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted June 15, 2010

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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA

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