LONDON, ENGLAND (CNA/EWTN News)—The Vatican has approved a decision from the Catholic bishops in England and Wales to move two Holy Days of Obligation back to their original dates.
Effective December 3, the first Sunday of Advent of this year, the Catholic dioceses in England and Wales will celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6, and the Ascension of the Lord on the Thursday after the 6th Sunday of Easter. Since 1984, these feasts had been transferred to the nearest Sunday. The only exception to the new move is for Epiphany: if January 6 falls on a Saturday or Monday, Epiphany will be observed on the Sunday closest.
The idea to move the celebrations of the Epiphany and the Ascension of the Lord back to their original dates came after “(h)aving considered further the significance and observance of Holy Days of Obligation.”
According to the decree, the decision of the bishops was reached during the November 2016 Plenary Assembly of the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales. It was then submitted to the Apostolic See for approval.