I live in the Archdiocese of Detroit. This year, I find that it will be difficult to attend my home parish Wednesday for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I was trying to find out the Mass times for parishes around where I will be that day (also in the archdiocese but about an hour from my home). For two parishes, the websites did not mention that holy day specifically, nor was there even a generic Mass time listed for holy days in general. One of these had a calendar listing for December 8, 2010, but it listed things like choir practice and youth group with absolutely NO mention of it being a Holy Day of Obligation.
I was particularly troubled by this because there seems to be a similar problem in my own parish. I am a lector and I noted before Mass this Sunday that there was no direct reference to the holy day in our announcements yesterday. (There was a reference to a taco supper before the evening Mass but that announcement did not say it was a holy day Mass). (I received the celebrant’s permission (not the pastor but a retired priest who says Mass here regularly) to ad-lib a mention of the holy day in with the taco supper.
This in itself is troubling because this is the second time I’ve had to do something like this for this particular holy day. A few years ago, the holy day fell on a Saturday o a Monday (can’t remember which) and I recall that the pastor apparently had a bit of a snit about the bishops not dropping the obligation as they often do in such instances. Therefore, he intentionally did not mention the feast day in the announcements in the bulletin (despite reminders of it from me and some others. (As I understand it, the obligation did not drop at that time because, after all, it is our nation’s patronal feast day.)
At that time (and during yesterday’s omission), I assumed it was a personal quirk in our pastor (who, though a good man, really seems to downplay any Marian feast days and dogmas). However, now that two other churches in the archdiocese appear to have the same issue, I wonder if this is an archdiocesan directive or an even more widespread issue.
Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Did I miss something? Or did the parishes involved? I just don’t get what’s going on here.
Your thoughts on this matter would be appreciated – including those that show me that I am wrong.