Solemnities, Feast Days, and Memorials
An order of prayer
Father David Jones
When you look at the liturgical year, you see that it is filled with lots of days we might call just another day journey and then there are high and holy days! We call them solemnities, feasts and memorials. Depending on the status of the day, the Mass is celebrated in a particular way.
While every day is a day of thanks giving, there are some days that call us to thank God with more passion. The highest in rank of those days are SOLEMNITIES. These days mark and recall the most important mysteries of the faith and for the most part directly connect us to the person of Jesus, even once removed or with one degree of separation.
Next in line are FEAST DAYS. On these days we honor a mystery or title of the Lord, Mary or saints of particular importance in the history of salvation.
Then there are MEMORIALS. When celebrating a memorial, we are most often calling to mind a SAINT. All saints have a feast day, usually the day she or he dies.
Holy days of obligation are another category all together. Nonetheless, these SPECIAL CELEBRATIONS keep us in that number when the saints go marching in! They call us to pray with an acute sense of reverence and undivided attention.
And on a side note, they teach us a bit of church history along the way.