In late 2007 there were Press accounts drawing attention to the transfer the next year of the celebration of St Patrick’s Day to Saturday March 15th. For all its strengths, the Roman Liturgical Calendar for any single year is not as uniform or regular as many may presume or expect. There are many variable factors, most prominently the so called Moveable Feasts which are mostly connected with the cycles of the moon but need to be tied to a calendar date set by the sun. This means the date of Easter 2008 (March 23) is the earliest in 2008 years and won’t happen again for another 200 years.

In the planning of the preparation of the Liturgical Calendar, Rome published in Notitiae arrangements for certain feast days that would be impacted by the unusually early Easter. In detail the changes affected feast days in March which were transferred to other days so as to protect the integrity of the celebration of Holy Week and the Easter Octave as special times. In practice, this meant St Patrick's Day is to be celebrated on March 15th, St Joseph on March 14th, and the Annunciation on March 31st. Coming from another angle, some calendar feasts happen to fall on a Sunday in 2008. Thus Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th being a Sunday and not the nearest Sunday to the 6th.

Pastoral Liturgy, is published by the University of Notre Dame Australia, School of Philosophy and Theology, Fremantle.


Peer-reviewed, Liturgical Calendar, Calculation of Easter, Clashes between Julian and Gregorian Calendars; Easter and Passover, Date of Easter

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