Feast (liturgy)

Article

August 19, 2022

In the liturgy of the Catholic Church the term Feast is used to indicate those celebrations of the mysteries of the life of Christ or of the saints that have medium liturgical importance. The celebrations of the Lord of lesser importance, the celebrations of the apostles and evangelists (except the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul and the memory of St. Barnabas), of the martyrs Stephen, Lawrence and of the Innocents, of Santa Maria have the degree of feast Magdalene, some celebrations of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Dedication of the Lateran basilica, and, locally, the celebrations of the patrons of the State, the continent, the region and the diocese (except for solemnities according to the General Roman Calendar) and other celebrations of saints. Feasts take precedence over memorials, while they are surpassed by solemnities and Sundays, with the exception of the feasts of the Lord. They are therefore celebrated only if a celebration of greater importance does not fall on the same day. For this purpose, the Missal and the books of the Liturgy of the Hours show at the beginning a table which determines the relative importance of the various celebrations of the liturgical year, and their mutual precedence.

Feasts in the General Roman Calendar

The following liturgical recurrences have degree of feast. The recurrences that take on a degree of celebration in the Italian and European territory are also marked. The feasts proper to the Dioceses are not marked.

The Eucharistic celebration on feasts

On days when a feast falls, the liturgical prayers proper to the celebration are used in the celebration of the Eucharist. The Gloria is recited or sung but not the Creed. The liturgy of the word is that of the feast: we read a first reading with his psalm and the Gospel. However, in the case of a feast of the Lord which falls on Sunday, the second reading is also read.

The liturgy of the hours on feasts

The liturgy of the hours is taken entirely from the proper of the saints, or in the absence of proper parts, from the relative municipality. Before the final prayer of the Office of Readings, the Te Deum is recited or sung. The most evident difference between feasts and solemnities is the lack of First Vespers for the first ones instead of the second ones.

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Related items

Memory (liturgy) Solemnity (liturgy) Liturgy Liturgical year of the Catholic Church Santorale Eucharistic celebration Liturgy of the hours