St. Joseph’s feast day this year and Holy Week

I got this question via e-mail:

I have consulted several priests from traditional orders regarding the celebration of St. Joseph’s feast day on March 15 this year.

They tell me this date applies only to the novus ordo and that they will not celebrate St. Joseph’s feast on that date.

Can you give me a definitive, authoritative answer to these questions:  Does the transfer of St. Joseph’s feast day to March 15 this year apply

 only to the ordinary form?  Can the 1962 Mass be said to celebrate St. Joseph’s day on March 15 this year?

What are you hearing your priests say about St. Joseph’s Day this year?

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50 Responses to St. Joseph’s feast day this year and Holy Week

  1. According to the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales Ordo, the Feast of St. Joseph this year has been transferred to April 1st, immediately after the transferred Annunciation on March 31st. Also as far as I know March 15th in the novus ordo in Ireland is the transferred Feast of St. Patrick, as that also falls in Holy Week.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    The official Ordo of the FSSP shows March 15 as the transferred Feast of St. Joseph.

  3. Legisperitus says:

    As for St. Patrick, the FSSP Ordo says: “Whenever St. Patrick’s Day is observed as a feast of the first class, it is observed this year on March 14, as noted in the ordo for Ireland. Elsewhere it is not celebrated or commemorated this year.”

  4. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The key is the rubrical phrase “proximum sequentem”, = nearest “following” day. There is then a special rubric about the Annunciation falling on the Monday after Low Sunday, which means St. Joseph is on the Tuesday after Low Sunday.

    If you’re following the 1962 rubrical system, St. Joseph should be on the Tuesday after Low Sunday.

  5. Fr.A says:

    As Legisperitus has stated, the FSSP Ordo has the Feast of St. Joseph on March 15; thus, that will be day it is celebrated in my parish.

  6. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The FSSP’s Ordo is in disregard of Rubricae Generales, #96.

  7. Director says:

    According to the rubrics of old rite too the feast of St. Joseph is transferred to Tuesday, 1st April. The Annuciation is transferred to Monday, 31st March.

    Even according to the 1962 rubrics I fail to see how the feast can possibly be celebrated on the 15th.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is not in violation if the transfer of St. Joseph’s day decreed by the CDW was meant to apply to Traditional communities. There have been instances before the NO, both before and after the 1962 rubrics, in which the former CSR did the same thing.

  9. Vincentius says:

    I have a traditional calendar produced by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Still River Mass which shows the feast transferred to March 15. My bi-ritual TLM parish in Providence is also celebrating it w/ a TLM on that day.However the Fr Lassance Missal states it should be transferred to the Wed following Low Sunday. (In any event , I will have the traditional Neopolitan pasty- La Zeppola on both days!)

  10. Fr. D says:

    Why isn’t St. Joseph transferred until “after” Easter in the Novus Ordo?
    Isn’t that why the propers for St. Joseph in the breviary have verses for “Easter” with “alleluia?”

  11. The Dominican Rite calendar rubrics of 1961 say that a 1st class feast is transferred to the closest available day, not the next available day. (Sorry I don’t have my Latin copy to give you the exact language, my copy is with my books in Rome).

    So following that rubric, in the calendar for this year that I prepared for myself and several other Dominicans, St. Joseph is on March 15, the Annunciation on March 31.

  12. Newminster says:

    My understanding (reading from the Breviary) is that in the Novus Ordo, displaced Solemnities are moved to the nearest available day. Which makes March 15 OK. The Annnication moves to March 31.

  13. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The 1960 Codex Rubricarum is very clear. “Next following day”, not next closest day, not whenever the bishops think it’s best, not September 30, not January 14. “Next following day”, proximum sequentem diem.

    There is a special rubric for the Annunciation, which gets pride of place on the Monday after Low Sunday. If a community celebrated Patrick as I Class, it would get Tuesday (again, next following day principle), and then Joseph on Wednesday.

    Indeed, Joseph’s Office…old and new…gets Paschaltide formulas for exactly this sort of event.

    Excluding indults, Joseph is Tuesday after Low Sunday this year according to the 1962 rubrics.

  14. Mark says:

    I have both the FSSP and SSPX ordos. The FSSP, as noted above, shows the feast transerred to March 15. The SSPX, however, shows it occuring on April 1. I have been told that SSPX tends to be more accurate where there are divergences, but I really don’t know what to think. The Abbey of Le Barroux’s ordo also shows the feast as occuring on April 1 (http://www.barroux.org/docum/ORDO2008.PDF …of course a Monastic ordo cannot be considered normative for parishes).

  15. Anonymous says:

    “The 1960 Codex Rubricarum is very clear. “Next following day”, not next closest day, not whenever the bishops think it’s best, not September 30, not January 14.”

    The CDW has the authority to declare a prior day in the matter. In 1966, with this particular rubric still in place, the CSR declared the feast pre-poned to March 18 when it was impeded. The only question, as far as I can see is whether the CDW directive applies to Traditional communities

  16. Anonymous says:

    The CDW has the authority to declare a prior day in the matter. In 1966, with this particular rubric still in place, the CSR declared the feast pre-poned to March 18 when it was impeded. The only question, as far as I can see is whether the CDW directive applies to Traditional communities

  17. Anonymous says:

    The CDW has the authority to declare a prior day in the matter. In 1966, with this particular rubric still in place, the CSR declared the feast pre-poned to March 18 when it was impeded. The only question, as far as I can see is whether the CDW directive applies to Traditional communities

  18. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The Congregation for Divine Worship also allowed optional use of 1 of 3 nocturns on I and II Class feasts. Are we now supposed to go picking through all rubrics and clarifications and indults from 1962 through 1970?

    Of course not.

    It’s interesting that some people were obsessed about fidelity to the 1962 rubrics when it concerned the Second Confiteor, but seem less concerned about following the quite clear rubrics about the date of this feast.

  19. WFW says:

    Here is an article from CNS http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0704136.htm It seems the last time this occured, in 1913, it was moved to April 1st.

  20. Mea culpa.

    I went and dug out the old copy of the Analecta Ord. Praed. from the priory library. The 1961 Dominican rubrics say a 1st class feast is transferred to the proximum sequentem diem. So St. Joseph belongs on April 1 in our old calendar.

    I figured I might have been wrong because our calendar was very much conformed to the Roman in 1961 and I expected our practice to match the Roman; as can be seen in above posts from experts in the rubrics, it does.

  21. Joshua says:

    Here in Australia a Trad. Ordo for the Commonwealth is available prepared by Robert Thomson “in accordance with the Motu Proprio Rubricarum Instructum… [of] 1960… in conformity with the Roman Missal and Breviary of 1962″. He gives St Joseph on the 1st and St Patrick (Ist class in Oz) on the 2nd of April.

    Or, maybe all these Ordo’s listing St Joseph on the 1st are playing *April Fool*? :-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    >Of course, yes, if it helps. In this case, because the record demonstrates that the Congregation has competence in the matter.

    As for the I and II Nocturns that is completely different. The statement in Tres Abhinc Annos is a clear MODIFICATION of the rubrics. The 1966 declaration leaves the rubric intact.

    It is not a question of following or not following since the Congregation is competent to declare it. If the Congregation declared that the Second Confiteor was alright then it would be alright, but in that blogpost no one produced any evidence that the Congregation said anything of the sort, in 1962 or since.

  23. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    The Motu speaks of the 1962 Missal.

    It doesn’t speak of the 1962 Missal + all clarifications through 1970.

    It says the 1962 Missal.

    Period. St. Joseph should be April 1, according to the rubrics.

  24. Joshua says:

    In the FSSP Ordo it does say that March 14 is where St. Patrick’s is in the Irish ordo, and should be followed where it is 1st Class (for instance Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York I think)

    Is this right, I was reading the Latin 2003 MR and it said that the principal patron of a diocese was celebrated as a Feast, and only mentioned solemnities being transferred. Therefore St. Patrick’ s, outside of Ireland or other places where he is patron of the place (the rubrics had that as Solemnity), will not be celebrated in the NO this year, even where he is co-patron/ patron?

  25. Joshua says:

    Just a clarification, if your open your Latin 2003MR and look at the section on the calendar you will find this interesting rubric that, St. Joseph, where it is of obligation, if it falls on Passion (that is Palm) Sunday, is celebrated on the 18th and the obligation is anticipated then, but where it is not of obligation it may be transferred outside of Lent by the Conference of Bishops. That would make sense of the Paschal elements.

    But this year, in the New Rite it is March 15th in America at least.

  26. Scott Smith says:

    The PCED says that no permission is required to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the Solemnity of St. Joseph on the 15th because it is on that day on the Vatican Calendar.

    Eventually the whole calendar issue is going to have to be dealt with, hopefully well.

  27. Bill White says:

    Does anyone have an English translation of this change as announced in the March-April, 2006 issue of Notitiate (475-476, page 96)? Here’s my blog post on the subject: http://members.wolfram.com/billw/summa/catholic_calendar_geek_bleg.html

  28. Bill White says:

    Does anyone have an English translation of this calendar change as announced in the March-April, 2006 issue of Notitiate (475-476, page 96)? Here\’s my blog post on the subject: http://members.wolfram.com/billw/summa/catholic_calendar_geek_bleg.html

  29. Joshua says:

    I wrote the FSSP for a clarification with regards to both feasts, St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s

  30. Bailey Walker says:

    Dear Father Thompson,

    Is this passage relavant? It’s from the “Rubricae generales” in front of the “Michael Browne” 1962 edition of the Dominican breviary.

    89 (96). Festum I classis impeditum a die qui in tabella praecedentiae superiorem obtinet locum, transfertur in proximum sequentem diem qui non sit I vel II classis.

    This passage is translated as follows in the 1967 “Aniceto Fernandez” Dominican breviary published by St. Saviour’s in Dublin:

    89 (96). A feast of the I class impeded by a day which has a higher place in the table of precedence, is transferred to the nearest day thereafter which is not of the I or II class.

    This seems to imply that if St. Joseph’s Day is transferred it should be transferred to the nearest available day AFTER March 19th, not before. Or am I missing something?

    Thank you.

  31. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    In a letter I once received from the PCED (dated 2004), they indicated that one can always use the modern calendar in celebrating with the 1962 books.

    In other words, one could indeed celebrate a 1962 St. Joseph Mass on 15 March, the date in the modern calendar.

    But if the question is rubrics of the 1962 Missal and Breviary, St. Joseph is 1 April this year.

  32. Dear Mr. Walker,

    As you can see a ways above your post, I corrected myself a while ago and cited the actual Analecta Latin of 1961.

    I might note that the 1962 O.P. Breviary actually came out in 1963 and includes minor rubrical changes that post date the “1962″ standard for the E.F. But they are minor and mostly concern grades of feasts.

  33. Liz F. says:

    Hello. Our FSSP priest said that the FSSP calendar was in error (including the March picture of St. Joseph and baby Jesus!)and that the feast is April 1. God bless, Liz

  34. Steve says:

    This is one of the reasons why things need to be updated with the 62 liturgy. There is far too much complexity.

  35. AJdiocese says:

    I have a calendar from Seraphim that places St. Joseph on April 1st.

  36. Irulats says:

    After reading all of the above, am I right in thinking the following.

    In Ireland, this year, according to the 1962 Missal, the feasts of Saint Patrick, Saint Joseph and the Annunciation of Our Lady, will take place sequentially on April 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

  37. Bailey Walker says:

    Father Thompson,

    Forgive me for my haste in responding to your original post in which you stated that you did not have access to your reference books. I thought the passages from the Dominican rubrics might be helpful. It was only after I had submitted my comment that I saw that you had already posted your corrections. Yet another example of how important it is to real ALL the comments before posting! Oremus pro invicem.

    Bailey

  38. Bailey Walker says:

    And please forgive the typo. Of course, I know that it is “relevant.” At least I did type “revelant” which it my more common error!

  39. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Even in Ireland, Annunciation comes first, because there is a special rubric that assigns the Annunciation to the Monday after Low Sunday.

  40. Irulats says:

    Dr. Lee Fratantuono: Even in Ireland, Annunciation comes first, because there is a special rubric that assigns the Annunciation to the Monday after Low Sunday.

    Many thanks, for that. I was informed in the meantime that the dates are

    Annunciation: 31 March
    St. Joseph: 1 April
    St. Patrick: 2 April

    but I didn’t know the reason.

  41. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Actually, it could be argued that in Ireland (or wherever Patrick is of the I Class), Patrick should be on April 1, and then Joseph on April 2.

    The rubrics make a special mention of the Annunciation; the Annunciation is moved to the Monday after Low Sunday.

    The rubrics make no special mention of Joseph, or Patrick.

    So a strict reading of the rubrics would say Patrick (if I Class) is moved to the “next following day), which is Tuesday. Then Joseph gets “the next following day”, which is Wednesday.

  42. Rob F. says:

    Re the alleluias in the office. I don’t have my breviary here, but if I recall correctly, on the feast of St. Joseph on May 1st the texts from March 19th may be used as an option. In that case, alleluias are always appropriate.

  43. Dear Bailey,

    No need for apology. Unless, of course, my reply seemed to abrupt. Thanks for your helpfulness.

  44. Joshua says:

    Dr. Fratantuono

    I don’t think that is right, for they would be assigned priority according to the table of precedence. St. Joseph is #11 and St. Patrick, in Ireland is #12. See rubric 98 in the RG.

    98. Likewise, if it happens that several feasts of the 1st class occurring on successive days are transferred, the order in which they are listed in the table of precedence shall be followed; in case of equal feasts, however, the office which was impeded first has precedence.

  45. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    That would be correct, however, I thought Ireland had some sort of indult that raised Saint Patrick by special privilege? Of course arguably that privilege would have been evoked by the 1960 Codex. Perhaps someone familiar with Irish propers (a messy topic) would know…

  46. Ken says:

    When Passion Sunday and its week of Masses is merged with Palm Sunday and forty days of Lenten fasts are reduced to two, one should expect messes like this. It is disappointing that the F.S.S.P. Ordo blindly followed the direction for the novus ordo without consulting the directives cited above.

    My thanks to those who did the research on the three feasts being moved to March 31, April 1 and April 2 on the 1962 calendar. Is Saint Francis of Paola to be commemorated on April 2?

  47. Fr. A says:

    For what it’s worth, having gone over to my mission last evening for Stations of the Cross, I looked at the Ordo I have there, which is the one with Christ the Priest picture on the front, and it does say that St. Joseph is celebrated on April 1. It differs from the FSSP Ordo I have here at the parish church.

  48. Jrny says:

    Two questions:

    1. Has the PCED mandated that those of us who follow the 1962 liturgical books observe the Feast of St. Joseph on March 15th.? I understand that they have granted permission forsuch, but is it mandatory?

    2. An interesting twist – even if “traditional” communities observe St. Jospeh on Marhc 15th., wouldn’t April 1st. also still be the rightful day for his feast, so we then, in essence, have two celebrations in his honor (not to mention May 1st.)? Would March 15th. be officially classified as an External Solemnity or an actual transferrence of a I Class Feast to another day? If the latter, then April 1st. would by definition revert to being a Ferial of the IV Class in Eastertide.

    I guess the bottom line is this – with the new Good Friday prayer and this calendrical change, do we now have the Tridentine Missal of 2008?

  49. Ken says:

    Does anyone know why the Father Lasance handmissal says Saint Joseph should be transfered to the Wednesday after Low Sunday if it falls in Holy Week?

  50. Sylvia says:

    I agree that it is very complex to be using two calendars, and very sticky too. We are Roman Catholics in the year 2008, and most Catholics will be celebrating the feast of St. Joseph on March 15th. I feel that to live with the Church we should consider March 15 the Feast of St. Joseph (and the same for all the other feasts that are different in the Old Calendar) and hold our private celebrations accordingly. At the same time, the demonstration of the rubrics does show that if the Tridentine mass is to be said, on March 15th it will not be the mass for the Feast of St. Joseph, but rather the mass on April 1 will. I guess the main thing is not to go around saying, “Well, the Feast of St. Joseph should really be on April 1,” or something to that effect. Maybe it should be, but it isn’t.