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Out of the question

10 May 2013


Your answers

This year the Feast of the Annunciation is transferred from 25 March to 8 April; should we therefore transfer Christmas Day to 8 January?

It is true that there is some calendrical logic behind the feasts from the conception of the Baptist to the Presentation, based on a gestation period of nine Gregorian months, Luke 1.36 (Elizabeth's progress), and the Old Testament prescriptions for circumcision and presentation. But these revolve around an artificial date for Christmas which simply replaced a Roman festival. And the scheme falls apart for Epiphany and the Holy Innocents. We should not be too concerned to preserve a gestation period in such circumstances.

The "Rules to Order the Christian Year" are given in Common Worship (pages 526-7), based on the Book of Common Prayer and its predecessors. It is evident that the proper observance of Holy Week and Easter is not to be interrupted by a major festival, even one as important as the Annunciation. In any case, the transfer does not alter the date of the annunciation, merely the date at which it is to be celebrated.

Christopher Haffner (Reader)
East Molesey

Your questions

Most parishes are more time- and talents-poor than in the past. Yet rules on elections and finance are more complex than 20 years ago. Is pruning possible, or does charity law prevent it?  G. M.

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Mon 08 Aug @ 19:59
Trust Your Feelings: Learning how to make choices with Ignatius of Loyola by Nikolaas Sintobin SJ https://t.co/0zkW0R88Si

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