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Musical Musings: Liturgy

New Liturgical Calendar

by Gary D. Penkala

With the promulgation of the Missale Romanum (third typical edition) in 2000, a host of new celebrations is officially recorded in the liturgical calendar. The feasts of new saints, like Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, can actually be celebrated throughout the world immediately after their canonization, but Mass propers are now being included in the liturgical books. The new blesseds, like Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, have a feast day established in the calendar, but celebrations of that day are generally restricted to local churches and the order associated with the blessed.

Since the English translation of the Missale Romanum will likely be several years off, we present here the revised calendar which incorporates the new feast days for the Universal Church and particular celebrations for the United States. The solemnities, feasts, obligatory memorials, optional memorials and commerorations are all listed with their proper titles and spellings as they occur in official books, some of which have changed from the previous edition.


  1   The Octave Day of Christmas: The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God   solemnity
  2   Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, bishops & doctors   memorial
  3   The Most Holy Name of Jesus   optional memorial
  4   Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious   memorial
  5   Saint John Neumann, bishop   memorial
  6   Blessed André Bessette, religious   optional memorial
  7   Saint Raymond of Peñafort, priest   optional memorial
13   Saint Hilary, bishop & doctor   optional memorial
17   Saint Anthony, abbot   memorial
20   Saint Fabian, pope & martyr   optional memorial
       Saint Sebastian, martyr   optional memorial
21   Saint Agnes, virgin & martyr   memorial
22   Saint Vincent, deacon & martyr   optional memorial
24   Saint Francis de Sales, bishop & doctor   memorial
25   The Conversion of Saint Paul, apostle   feast
26   Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, bishops   memorial
27   Saint Angela Merici, virgin   optional memorial
28   Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest & doctor   memorial
31   Saint John Bosco, priest   memorial
Sunday between January 2 and January 8 (inclusive)   The Epiphany of the Lord   solemnity
Sunday after Epiphany *   The Baptism of the Lord   feast
    * When Epiphany is celebrated on January 7 or 8, this feast occurs on the next day (Monday).


  2   The Presentation of the Lord   feast
  3   Saint Blase, bishop & martyr   optional memorial
       Saint Ansgar, bishop   optional memorial
  5   Saint Agatha, virgin & martyr   memorial
  6   Saint Paul Miki and his companions, martyrs   memorial
  8   Saint Jerome Emiliani, priest   optional memorial
       Saint Josephine Bakhita, religious   optional memorial
10   Saint Scholastica, virgin   memorial
11   Our Lady of Lourdes   optional memorial
14   Saint Cyril, monk, and Saint Methodius, bishop   memorial
17   The Seven Founders of the Order of Servites   optional memorial
21   Saint Peter Damian, bishop & doctor   optional memorial
22   The Chair of Saint Peter, apostle   feast
23   Saint Polycarp, bishop & martyr   memorial
    During Lent, all memorials take on the rank of commemorations.


  3   Saint Katharine Drexel, religious   optional memorial
  4   Saint Casimir [prince]   optional memorial
  7   Saint Perpetua and Saint Felicity, martyrs   memorial
  8   Saint John of God, religious   optional memorial
  9   Saint Frances of Rome, religious   optional memorial
17   Saint Patrick, bishop   optional memorial
18   Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop & doctor   optional memorial
19   Saint Joseph   solemnity
23   Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo, bishop   optional memorial
25   The Annunciation of the Lord   solemnity
    During Lent, all memorials take on the rank of commemorations.
If the solemnities of Saint Joseph (March 19) or The Annnuciation of the Lord (March 25) fall within Holy Week or The Octave of Easter, they would be transfered to the first available day after the Second Sunday of Easter.


  2   Saint Francis of Paola, hermit   optional memorial
  4   Saint Isidore, bishop & doctor   optional memorial
  5   Saint Vincent Ferrer, priest   optional memorial
  7   Saint John Baptist de la Salle, priest   memorial
11   Saint Stanislaus, bishop & martyr   memorial
13   Saint Martin I, pope & martyr   optional memorial
21   Saint Anselm, bishop & doctor   optional memorial
23   Saint George, martyr   optional memorial
       Saint Adalbert, bishop & martyr   optional memorial
24   Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest & martyr   optional memorial
25   Saint Mark, evangelist   feast
28   Saint Peter Chanel, priest & martyr   optional memorial
       Saint Louis Mary de Montfort, priest   optional memorial
29   Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin & doctor   memorial
30   Saint Pius V, pope   optional memorial
    During Lent, all memorials take on the rank of commemorations.
Sunday after the first Full Moon after March 21   Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord
From the date of Easter are calculated the following: Ash Wednesday (Wednesday before 1st Sunday of Lent), First Sunday of Lent (6 Sundays before Easter), Second Sunday of Lent (5 Sundays before Easter), Third Sunday of Lent (4 Sundays before Easter), Fourth Sunday of Lent: Lætare (3 Sundays before Easter), Fifth Sunday of Lent (2 Sundays before Easter), Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (Sunday before Easter), Holy Thursday (Thursday before Easter), Good Friday (Friday before Easter), Easter Vigil (night before Easter Sunday), Octave of Easter (Monday through Saturday after Easter), Ascension (Thursday of the 6th Week of Easter or transfered to the 7th Sunday of Easter in western regions of the U.S.), Pentecost (7 Sundays after Easter)
Sunday after Easter Sunday   Divine Mercy Sunday


  1   Saint Joseph the Worker   optional memorial
  2   Saint Athanasius, bishop & doctor   memorial
  3   Saint Philip and Saint James, apostles   feast
10   Blessed Damien Joseph de Veuster of Moloka'i, priest   optional memorial
12   Saint Nereus and Saint Achilleus, martyrs   optional memorial
       Saint Pancras, martyr   optional memorial
13   Our Lady of Fátima   optional memorial
14   Saint Matthias, apostle   feast
18   Saint John I, pope & martyr   optional memorial
20   Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest   optional memorial
21   Saint Christopher Magallanes, priest & martyr; and his companions, martyrs   optional memorial
22   Saint Rita of Cascia, religious   optional memorial
25   Saint Bede the Venerable, priest & doctor   optional memorial
       Saint Gregory VII, pope   optional memorial
       Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, virgin   optional memorial
26   Saint Philip Neri, priest   memorial
27   Saint Augustine of Canterbury, bishop   optional memorial
31   The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary   feast
Sunday after Pentecost   The Most Holy Trinity   solemnity
Second Sunday after Pentecost   The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ   solemnity
Friday after Second Sunday after Pentecost   The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus   solemnity
Saturday after Second Sunday after Pentecost   The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary   memorial

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