England and Wales Adjust Holy Days
Move 3 Feasts to Sunday
LONDON, JULY 30, 2006 (Zenit.org).-
The bishops of England and Wales have made changes to the holy days
of obligation to facilitate Catholics' observance of important
"We have responded to requests from diocesan councils of priests and
many others, deeply concerned at the diminishing observance of these
days," said Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of
Westminster, in a recent statement.
"In order to foster the celebration of the rhythm of the liturgical
year and to celebrate more profoundly the mysteries of the life and
mission of the Lord, the bishops have decided to transfer to Sunday
those holy days of obligation which are solemnities of the Lord"
other than Christmas Day, he said.
"This means that the Epiphany, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus
Christi will now be celebrated on Sunday," he added.
According to the statement, the prelates commend this as an
opportunity for Catholics to deepen, through catechesis and
celebration, their faith and understanding of these mysteries of the
life of Christ.
These changes, approved by the Holy See on July 13, will take effect
in England and Wales on the First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 3.
Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor specified that "other holy days of
obligation -- Christmas, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the feast of All Saints
will continue to be celebrated as at present."
With the exception of Christmas Day, the discipline in England and
Wales is that when these days fall on a Saturday or Monday, they are
transferred to Sunday. Further details are posted at