Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the October AD 1999
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

    Question: How is the class of a saint's day determined? What are "memorials" and "optional memorials"? (P.L. GA)

    Answer:  Most of the saints' days fall on a particular date in the calendar year, and are assigned a rank based on the importance of the person celebrated. Feasts of our Lord are always of the first or second class (e.g. Christmas, Transfiguration); those honoring the life of our Lady are usually first or second class (e.g. Immaculate Conception, Visitation), and those attributing some title to her are usually second or third class (e.g. Seven Sorrows, Consolation); the Apostles are assigned to the second class (except Barnabas); the remainder of the saints have third class feasts or commemorations.

    The last class of the saints relegated the lesser known saints to the status of a commemoration. The Mass may be that of the saint, or he may be commemorated in the Mass of the previous Sunday. Likewise, a lesser known saint may be commemorated in the Mass of a better known saint, something that often happens when a newly canonized displaces an older saint on his feast day.

    Feasts associated with the Holy See are often higher in rank than they might otherwise be (e.g. Peter and Paul). Regional, diocesan, parish, and religious order patron saints are usually celebrated with a higher rank where appropriate.



John XIII New Order
    Prior to the mid 1950s a rather complicated system of saints days was in use. Pope Pius XII permitted the simplification of the rubrics of the Missal and Breviary, a work carried to logical conclusion by Pope John XXIII. Shortly after introducing his Novus Ordo, Pope Paul VI rearranged the calendar, reducing the number and rank of many saints' feast days.
Double of the 1st class First class Solemnity
Double of the 2nd class Second class Feast
Greater double Second or third class  
Lesser double Third class Memorial
Semi-double Third class  
Simple Commemoration (a.k.a. fourth class) Optional memorial 


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
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