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Keeping a Holy Feast

Keeping a Holy Feast

These days, we are often dismissed from Mass with these words:

Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”

By your life… not only by your acts of piety and your acts of charity, however great they may be, but with your whole life.

Our lives, as Catholics, are not only sacramental but follow the rhythm of the liturgical year.  We adopt a penitential mode on Fridays and in Lent through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving; we feast at Easter as well as at Christmas.  We take care to keep Sunday holy… but what about the other holydays of obligation?1

Tomorrow is the solemnity of All Saints.  Because it is a holyday of obligation, we go to Mass, but apart from that, how do we mark the holyday?  How will our day reflect the liturgical character of the great solemnity?2  Because, in this country, there is no official holyday – schools, offices and factories are open for business as usual – it can be difficult to keep the day as holy as Sunday.  We can try, however, and we can have fun trying!

To celebrate a Feast with a feast seems like a good place to start.3  I don’t think there can be any easier act of evangelisation than eating cake as a means of bearing witness to ones faith!  Pack a tasty cake in your lunchbox and be sure to mention that you have it because it’s All Saints’ Day.  Better still, pack two cakes and give one away.

The saints of God knew as well as anyone else that life is not all piety and charity.  The flip side of fasting when the Church fasts is feasting when she feasts, so “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life” and get baking!



1 In addition to every Sunday, holydays of obligation are Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension, Corpus Christi, Mary, Mother of God, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, St Joseph, Ss Peter & Paul and All Saints.  ‘Episcopal Conferences may, however, suppress certain holydays or transfer them to the Sunday (Code of Canon Law 1246 §2)‘, which, of course, they do but that need not stop us marking the days in other ways.

2 For an overview of how we ought to mark these days, see Code of Canon Law 1247 and CCC 2185-8, as well as the E&W Bishops’ document ‘Keeping these days Holy’

3 Yes, I know tomorrow’s a Solemnity – that’s a feast with extra pudding!

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