We can always expect the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to come on Aug. 15 and the Optional Memorial of St. Patrick on March 17. But many feast days of the Church year are not settled on one particular date of the calendar. These are known as moveable feasts. Their dates are bumped ahead (or back) on the calendar depending — in most cases — on that most important moveable feast of all: Easter. See how much you know about them.
Easter, the mother of all moveable feasts, has its date determined by:
Easter is followed in rapid succession by seven moveable feasts that repeat Sunday’s liturgy. Together these are called:
Forty days after Easter we celebrate this moveable feast, although many dioceses in the United States have moved it to the Seventh Sunday of Easter.
If you know your ancient Greek, you will never forget that the moveable feast of Pentecost comes this many days after Easter.
Easter’s date also moves several feasts after the Easter season ends. In addition to Mass, the Church celebrates this feast on the second Sunday after Pentecost without door processions. (It falls on June 18 this year.)
The last moveable feast affected by Easter comes 19 days after Pentecost, thus it’s always on a Friday. It was placed on the universal calendar in 1856 after several centuries of rising popularity in various European nations. It is the solemnity of Our Lord’s:
A few moveable feasts are not related to Easter, but to Christmas. Although we always celebrate the birth of Jesus on Dec. 25, the day of the week on which it occurs impacts the date of which of the following celebrations: