St. Patrick’s Day Festivities Start Early This Year

March 14, 2008 01:31 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Catholic church officials have ordered that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations start early this year so as not to conflict with Holy Week.

30-Second Summary

Revelers who don’t want to overstep the Roman Catholic Church’s orders are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day early this year.

Event organizers in cities such as Philadelphia, Pa., Milwaukee, Wis., and New Haven, Conn., have moved up their parades to comply with the wishes of church officials who say that because the traditional St. Patrick’s Day—March 17—conflicts with Holy Week for the fist time since 1940, celebrations should instead start on March 14 or 15.

The Catholic Church decrees that the days of Holy Week and Easter rank above all other holidays, according to the Catholic News Service. The church made its decision after Irish bishops wrote to the Vatican about the scheduling conflict.

“Holy Week takes precedence over other feast days,” said the Rev. Charles Singler, director of worship for the Toledo, Ohio, Catholic Diocese. “Parishes that are titled St. Patrick are permitted to celebrate the feast [day], but they must move it to Friday.”

Nonetheless, some cities are maintaining the tradition of holding festivities on either the 17 or the Sunday before, which this year is Palm Sunday, “despite pleas from bishops who wish they’d switch dates,” USA Today reports. “The tension underscores a struggle to reclaim a unique holiday that blends revelry, religion and cultural pride.”

Headline Links: Catholic Church wants an early St. Patrick’s Day

Reference: St. Patrick’s Day History, Traditions and Celebrations

Related Topic: Navigating the St. Paddy’s bar scene


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