Epiphany and Ascension reinstated to former dates

Detail from Ascension of Christ by Giacomo Cavedone (Wikimedia Commons)


From the Catholic Herald:

The Holy Days had been moved to the nearest Sundays in 2006.

The Bishops of England and Wales have decided to reinstate two Holy Days of Obligation, a decision confirmed by the Holy See.

With effect from the First Sunday of Advent 2017, the days reinstated are the Epiphany of the Lord on 6 January, (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday), and the Ascension of the Lord, which takes place on the Thursday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

The two feasts had been transferred to the nearest Sundays in 2006, along with Corpus Christi. The latter feast remains on a Sunday.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said: “I’m delighted to hear that the Holy See has approved the reversion of the Holy Days of the Epiphany and the Ascension to their proper days.”

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5 Responses to Epiphany and Ascension reinstated to former dates

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    The US needs to return the important holydays, since most have forgotten their significance when they’re celebrated on a Sunday. Go England!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is good to hear, I am pretty new to Catholicism and I know a lot of cradle Catholics who were not happy that these dates had been moved to the nearest Sunday. It is our faith to observe these holy days of obligation but sadly I know many Catholics who don’t think it is necessary to attend church on them.


  3. kathleen says:

    This is very encouraging news! Especially the celebration of the feast of the Ascension of the Lord to Thursday once again (IMHO), ten days before the descent of the Holy Spirit, according to the Gospel.
    And this mandate comes only a few years after the CDW ordered a return to meatless Fridays! Will other countries follow the good example of the Bishops of England and Wales? Hope so. (There must be some good traditional bishops in the CDW promoting these welcome changes.)

    Now we await in hope for a return of the feast of Corpus Christi to Thursday 😉.


  4. kathleen says:

    Hello Caroline! I’ve had a look at your website and scrolled back to read your interesting conversion story. It’s really good to have you with us, and thank you for your comments here.

    Re your remark at 13:47 yesterday…. Yes, I think one of the reasons feast days have been transferred to the following Sunday was to make it easier for people to attend Mass on a day of rest, rather than a working day. It comes from that silly softie approach, so rampant in the decades after V2, to not put people out. But hey, what’s the big deal in getting up a little earlier to go to an earlier Mass, or to attend an evening Mass after work? That’s what my father always used to do.

    As you imply in your comment, making things easier does not prompt greater devotion; in fact I think it works the other way round…. it makes people self-indulgent and lazy. Look at what lengths those devout Catholics in mission countries will go to get to Mass, and what risks underground Catholics (like those heroic Chinese Catholics) will take to hear Holy Mass. And the suffering Catholics in Soviet gulags, or in many Islamic countries today, etc.!
    Pampering people is counterproductive to loving and living the Faith.


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