Feast of the Holy Family

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: A minister asked me a good Question around the Feast of the Holy Family… on all the Liturgical Calendar and in tradition we celebrate this on the Sunday after Christmas.  There have been some exceptions like in 2022.  Can you explain why it is not considered a Soleminty ?  Are there other resources to explain to those that want to know more?


A: The feast of the Holy Family is a latecomer to the liturgical calendar, added under Pope Leo XIII in 1893. It has devotional appeal, but it lacks the weight of days like Christmas and Epiphany, both solemnities.

When the calendar went under review after the Second Vatican Council, this feast came under scrutiny. The former calendar had it after the first of the year, and various opinions came forward ranging from its elimination to sequencing it better among the various observances of Christmas Time. It moved to its present position in 1970—actually in 1969 in advance of the other changes.

Regarding resources, I’ve just started researching a potential book on the liturgical year, but you’ll probably have to wait a year to see it.