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Do any Particular Eastern and Oriental Churches in union with Rome celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as a Holy day of obligation?

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My parish is Ruthenian. We do celebrate it on the 8th, rather than the 9th as is traditional, but it is called "The Conception of St Anna," rather than the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and it's not a "holy day of obligation." Our calendar, from Byzantine Seminary Press, shows it as a solemnity.

A blessed feast day to all!

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A quick check of several Orthodox calendars (new calendar) states that on December 8th, among the commemorations of the day is "The Forefeast of the Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos" from the Greek Orthodox website and the ACROD website.The ninth is observed as the Conception of the Theotokas The OCA and Antiochian calendars also note the commemoration on December 9th. Obviously the Orthodox do not commemorate this in the western sense as the 'Immaculate Conception.'

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Does anybody know why the Latin Church moved the Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos by Saint Anne back one day? I thought the point of having the Feast on the 9th was to make it nine months minus one day from the Nativity of the Theotokos, an imperfection meant to distinguish her from her Son.

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The name of this Holy Day has become misleading. The conception is not of Anna because it was Mary who was conceived. I've also seen it called the "Maternity of Anna" which is correct but rather changes the focus. The "Conception by Anna" is partially correct; more accurate is "Conception by Anna and Joachim." A better name for the commemoration would be "Conception of the Theotokos" as it better matches the scriptural readings.

I tend to think that "Immaculate Conception' has merit (understanding that my eastern brothers and sisters have arguable grounds for disagreement) because the "Most Pure One" also has the title of the "New Eve." As Eve was created (in a different way) without sin, it is logical that the mother of mankind was also created without sin.

IMHO, it becomes difficult to explain the Holy Day when we have such difficulty with the accuracy of its name. wink

Pardon me for this next comment, but everyone in the Steeler Nation know what the "Immaculate Reception" is. biggrin

I guess that I have this idiosyncrasy because I've been preaching that life is sacred from conception to natural death. It becomes confusing to people when we misuse the word conception, which is the creation of a person.

A holy fast to all,
Fr Deacon Paul


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Originally Posted by Jaya
My parish is Ruthenian. We do celebrate it on the 8th, rather than the 9th as is traditional, but it is called "The Conception of St Anna," rather than the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and it's not a "holy day of obligation." Our calendar, from Byzantine Seminary Press, shows it as a solemnity.

A blessed feast day to all!
A solemnity is of the highest order in the categories of Church days among memorials and feasts.

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Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Jaya
My parish is Ruthenian. We do celebrate it on the 8th, rather than the 9th as is traditional, but it is called "The Conception of St Anna," rather than the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and it's not a "holy day of obligation." Our calendar, from Byzantine Seminary Press, shows it as a solemnity.

A blessed feast day to all!
A solemnity is of the highest order in the categories of Church days among memorials and feasts.

Solemnity, Feast, Memorial is the ranking of the Roman Rite. The Byzantine Rite ranks Feasts as Vigil, Polyeleos, Great Doxology, Six Stichera, and Simple. The Conception of the Theotokos is a Feast of Great Doxology rank traditionally and still is among the Orthodox. Catholic Byzantine Churches have raised it to Vigil rank.


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Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
Do any Particular Eastern and Oriental Churches in union with Rome celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as a Holy day of obligation?

U-C

It is a Holy Day of Obligation for Maronites and Chaldeans.


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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Solemnity, Feast, Memorial is the ranking of the Roman Rite. The Byzantine Rite ranks Feasts as Vigil, Polyeleos, Great Doxology, Six Stichera, and Simple. The Conception of the Theotokos is a Feast of Great Doxology rank traditionally and still is among the Orthodox. Catholic Byzantine Churches have raised it to Vigil rank.

Fr Deacon,

I didn't know that. Are you Ruthenian Catholic, too? Do you know why the calendar we get from Byzantine Seminary Press shows Roman rankings? That's disappointing. My parish priest uses the same terminology. I just checked my calendar again, and all the feast days are indicated as either "Simple," "Solemn," or "Obligation." Is this a lingering latinization, then?

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Does anybody know why the Latin Church moved the Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos by Saint Anne back one day? I thought the point of having the Feast on the 9th was to make it nine months minus one day from the Nativity of the Theotokos, an imperfection meant to distinguish her from her Son.

I would also like to know the answer to Stuart's question.

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Jaya,

There are two different issues here: what the liturgical ranks of days are called in each rite, and how bishops notify their priests of which services must be publicly celebrated.

LITURGICALLY, the lists given by Father Deacon are correct for the Byzantine and Roman Rites.

But note that the calendar from the Byzantine Seminary Press doesn't say Solemnity, Feast, or Memorial. That is because the indication is how the PARISH PRIEST is supposed to conduct services. There are rules on what services, at a minimum, are to be celebrated in the parish. So while there are many feasts of "vigil rank" - such as the feast of Saint Sabbas on December 5 - only some of them (such as Saint Nicholas' feast day on December 7) are named by the bishops as "solemn feast days" or "simple feast days" - days when the parish priest is obligated to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in his parish. (Ideally, the "full liturgical observance" of a solemn feast day should also include Vespers and Matins.)

When you get next year's calendar, look at the "tear-off" cover page, and I think you will find an explanation of the terms "solemn holy day" and "simple holy day."

Orthodox parishes tend to either be more informal, OR based on specific rulings for their particular bishop. For example, one Orthodox parish I attended ONLY had services on Sundays. If a feast fell on a weekday, tough. I would wager that this is the sort of thing that the system of "solemn feasts" and "simple feasts" (and days of obligation) is supposed to prevent.

For a complete listing of saints' days in the Byzantine Catholic Church, the liturgical rank of each, see the Calendar of Saints [metropolitancantorinstitute.org]

Yours in Christ,
Jeff Mierzejewski

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Jeff,

Thank you for your very clear and informative post. That explained everything!

My parish priest, however, does refer to the feasts labeled "Solemn" as "Solemnities." I guess that's a holdover from his Latin days.

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Quote
Does anybody know why the Latin Church moved the Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos by Saint Anne back one day? I thought the point of having the Feast on the 9th was to make it nine months minus one day from the Nativity of the Theotokos, an imperfection meant to distinguish her from her Son.

The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia seems to document (regardless of the way the rest of the article comes off - or is in some places wrong, or at least severely dated) that the feast was on the 8th on the English calendar when it was introduced ~1000 years ago, apparently without knowledge of Eastern practice. (It seems the English just counted 9 months and stuck it there)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm

I went looking at the 1917 encyclopedia, because I had been taught something different - and I figured I should verify the story I had always heard before responding. (In retrospect what I was taught now seems more than a little silly and unlikely - so much so that I won't even mention it).

Justin



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Stuart,

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Byzantine Ruthenians in the US celebrate the feast on December 8, which changes that 9 months minus 1 day period.

There are a couple of reasons. The 6th Plenary Council was held on December 8, 1846 in Baltimore which placed the US under the protection of the Mother of God.

Also, Pope Pius IX made his infallible proclamation of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854.

As Catholics, we stand firm with Universal Catholic Church in fundamental matters ' faith

As Eastern Christians, we are blessed with a special understanding, bringing us closer to the Theotokos and to Christ, to help us to the Kingdom of God

Have a most blessed Christmas,

Fr Deacon El




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As Catholics, we stand firm with Universal Catholic Church in fundamental matters ' faith

Whatever that means. Sometimes, of course, the circle cannot be squared.

As an Eastern Christian, I find the doctrine of the immaculate conception to be superfluous at best. I have no problem if Latin Catholics wish to believe it, as it is necessary given Latin assumptions about original sin. Since the Christian East has a very different set of assumptions about that, there is no need for Mary to have been protected from the stain of original sin, because, as an Eastern Christian, I don't believe we inherit any such stain from Adam, but only the curse of mortality. As Mary died, it does not seem she escaped from the ancestral curse.

And you never explained just why the Latin Church changed the date of the Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos to 8 December, merely noted that they did.

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