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Ranking of Liturgical Days

And Rules of Precedence

For the 1962 Roman Calendar


Each day on the calendar has a rank or class to determine precedence, should two observances fall on the same day (due to having both fixed and moveable feasts, which sometimes coincide). Rank also generally corresponds to the level of solemnity of the ceremonies. On the traditional Roman Calendar since 1960:

  • Sundays have one of two ranks:

    • First Class Sundays (Sundays in Advent, Lent, and Passiontide; Easter Sunday, Low Sunday, and Pentecost) outrank all feasts which might fall on the same day, except the Immaculate Conception, which takes precedence.

    • Second Class Sundays outrank Second Class Feasts and below, with the exception of feasts of Our Lord Jesus Christ, whether First or Second Class Feasts, which take precedence.

  • Feasts are divided (in descending order) into: First Class, Second Class, Third Class, and Fourth Class or Commemoration. If two feasts of the same rank coincide, precedence is given according to the subject matter, given here in descending order: Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Holy Mother, the holy angels, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, St. Peter, St. Paul, the other Apostles, the holy martyrs, and the other saints.

    For centuries the ranks of feasts were, in descending order, Double of the First Class, Double of the Second Class, Greater Double, Lesser Double, Semi-Double, and Simple. In 1955 the last two were changed to Simple and Commemoration. The changes of 1960 are listed immediately above. In the 1969 calendar, now the main calendar of the Roman rite, the rankings are (in descending order) Solemnity, Feast, and Memorial.
  • Ferias, too, have four ranks:

    • First-class ferias (Ash Wednesday, weekdays of Holy Week) outrank all feasts.

    • Second-class ferias (ferias of Advent from 17 to 23 Dec.; Ember Days) outrank local, second-class feasts.

    • Third-class ferias in Advent (up to 16 Dec., excluding Ember Days) are outranked by third-class feasts. Third-class ferias in Lent (Thurs. after Ash Weds. to Sat. before Palm Sun. excluding Ember Days) outrank Third-class feasts.

    • Fourth-class ferias are all other ferias.

      Formerly, ferias were major or minor.

  • Vigils are divided into three ranks:

    • First Class Vigils (Christmas, Pentecost) take precedence over all other feasts.

    • Second Class Vigils (Ascension, Assumption, St. John the Baptist, and Ss. Peter and Paul) take precedence over Third and Fourth Class liturgical days.

    • The only Third Class Vigil is St. Lawrence, which takes precedence over Fourth Class liturgical days.


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Todd Aylard