FEASTS AND FESTIVALS
BASIC R.C. BELIEF
Certain days are set aside each year by the Roman Catholic Church in order
to impress upon people's minds great truths of religion. The more important
feasts are Holydays of Obligation (on which a Roman Catholic must go to
Mass), of which there are six: Christmas, Circumcision (Jan. 1), Ascension
Day, Assumption (Aug. 15), All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and Immaculate
Conception (Dec. 8) There are others are observed by the universal Church
but not in the U.S.: Epiphany, Corpus Christi, St. Joseph and Sts. Peter
Other feasts include Easter, Pentecost, Purification of our Blessed
Lady, Annunciation, Trinity Sunday, Sacred Heart, All Souls Day, Nativity
of St. John the Baptist.
There are many feasts of Mary; in the 12th century only four were
universally observed. At present, the number has increased to about 20.
There is a very involved system of attaching comparative liturgical rank
to each feast. In ascending order of importance, they are: simple, semi-
double, greater double, double of the second class, double of the first
Some great feasts have octaves, which extend the solemnity for 8 days.
In 1928, Pius XI raised the feast of the Sacred Heart to a first class
feast with a third class octave.
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