PROVIDENCE – The Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence, today announced changes in the liturgical calendar for 2008. The changes were permitted because of the early celebration of Easter next year. Bishop Tobin joins the bishops of the Province of Hartford in making changes to the liturgical calendar.
The Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments has provided notification through their journal, Notitiae, of the changes that need to be made. The Solemnity of St. Joseph, which is normally celebrated on March 19 but occurs on Wednesday of Holy Week in 2008, will be observed on Saturday, March 15. The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, which is traditionally observed on March 25 but occurs during the Octave of Easter in 2008, will now be observed on March 31.
Msgr. John Darcy, Chancellor of the Diocese, stated that, “in keeping with the directives from the Congregation, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops decided to have a stable celebration of the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 15. Likewise, the Bishops of the Province of Hartford agreed on a common day for the liturgical celebration of St. Patrick. This advance liturgical notice will be helpful to parishes, schools, and other organizations that are planning celebrations in honoring both saints.”
The optional memorial to St. Patrick will be celebrated on Friday, March 14th to preserve the dignity of Holy Week. Bishop Tobin is prepared to issue a dispensation for those parishes celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Friday during the Lenten Season.