Memorials during Lent

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Can we “commemorate” during Lent (using the collect, as described in GIRM 355a) saints who are not on the general calendar, but are found in the Martyrology for that day (as in 355 b and c)?  The language of 355a is almost oddly specific – “the Collect may be taken from a Memorial which happens to be inscribed in the General Calendar for that day”.  Strictly interpreted, this would seem also to rule out commemorations of saints on a proper calendar, which doesn’t seem to make sense!

Thanks as always for your insights.


A: You’re asking about several categories: memorials and optional memorials in the missal, and other saints listed in the martyrology. And you’re asking about a distinction between the general and proper calendars.

It appears to me that 355 isn’t thinking about the proper calendar, but I believe it can be inferred from the reference to the general calendar. So if your diocese has a proper memorial that falls during Lent, I think that should be considered equivalent to one on the general calendar—though I have nothing to prove that.

However, concerning a saint who appears neither in the general nor in the proper calendars, but who does appear in the martyrology on a weekday of Lent, my answer is no, that saint may not be commemorated at a weekday Mass in Lent. The weekdays of Lent are that special—even their collects.