In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you again for your knowledgeable and generous responses to the numerous questions posed to you.  I know I will always learn something valuable and thought-provoking in your daily emails.

Let me set the stage before asking my two questions.  I live in a parish that is the result of a merger.  Our parish has two churches, let’s call one St. A and the other St. B.  Our parish is named for St. C and was given its name as a result of the merger.  On the general calendar, St. A is a memorial, and Saints B and C are optional memorials, and no saint carries any special import in the diocese.

Question 1: This year, the title saints for the two churches, St. A and St. B, fall on Sundays during ordinary time.  We know that these observations should be observed as solemnities with proper antiphons and prayers.  My pastor is wondering whether readings from the Sunday in ordinary may time be used rather than readings chosen from the appropriate commons?

Question 2:  What rank does the observation of St. C have in our parish?  In Ars Celebrandi you write, “…the date associated with the church’s original title remains a solemnity in that parish, whose new patron is celebrated as a feast.”  In Patronus, Liturgica Acceptione, which you cite, section 12 is not explicit as to whether a parish patron should be celebrated with a solemnity or feast, though earlier in the document (3a), the category of parish appears alongside those of city and town, whose patrons are to celebrated with solemnities according to section 12.


Answer 1: There is no provision for using the Ordinary Time readings, but you probably could based on the principle that the Commons provide so many options that the Sunday readings could be interpreted as an alternative set. But that’s not the idea. The idea is that the titular date has such importance that it takes over the liturgy.

Answer 2: I’ve been rethinking that position I took in Ars Celebrandi for reasons similar to those you mention. I cannot find justification for celebrating the day as a feast. I think it’s better to keep it as a memorial. That said, the Gloria may be sung “at particular celebrations of a more solemn character” (GIRM 53), and I think you could argue that Masses on St. C’s memorial could include the Gloria. In effect, that makes it nearly indistinguishable from a feast.