Nativity of the Mother of God

Is anyone else disappointed that the Nativity of Our Lady won’t be celebrated this year in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite? Of course, our Eastern brethren will still be celebrating this great feast. I understand that the Latin tradition has come to place greater emphasis on the Immaculate Conception, which is ranked as a solemnity, than on Her nativity, which is only ranked as a feast…but it always bugged me that St. John the Baptist’s nativity is a solemnity, but Our Lady’s nativity can be superseded by an ordinary Sunday…


The Sunday liturgy ALWAYS takes precedence over any other feast. Had John the Baptist’s nativity fallen on a week day, then yes, it would be celebrated. But when it falls on Sunday, it would not be celebrated. We can always honor Mary in our own way on Sunday.

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Actually, no, the Sunday liturgy doesn’t always outrank any feast. However, it does outrank this particular feast, just as when the Immaculate Conception falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated the following day.

But (apart from some dioceses’ ‘Ascension Sunday’), the Feast of St. John the Baptist is celebrated when IT falls on a Sunday and also I believe The Triumph of the Cross in September, and some others.


It bothers me too, but we can at least celebrate it privately, and some churches do have “Birthday Parties for Mary”. I am unable to attend a party this year but I went in previous years. Usually people gather to say a Rosary and then have some kind of snacks and cake.


That’s not true. Sundays are sometimes displaced. When June 24th is a Sunday, it’s the Nativity of John, not the Sunday.

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Thank you, Catholic25.

I was able to find direction on why some feasts replace the regular Sunday liturgy. Thank you for your reply which helped me to search further. I was confused as to why some Solemnities are transferred to Monday, but other Solemnities are not.

So when Dec. 8, our patronal feast and holy day of obligation, falls on Sunday in Advent, the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on Dec. 9 because the Advent Sunday outranks the solemnity. Or, when the Annunciation or Solemnity of St. Joseph falls on a Sunday in Lent, the solemnities are transferred because Sundays in Lent outrank them.

But things are different during Ordinary Time. Solemnities of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and saints listed in the General Calendar take precedence over these Sundays. This year, the Nativity of John the Baptist is celebrated, because it “outranks” the 12th Sunday of ordinary time. In some years this also happens with Aug. 15 (the Assumption), Christmas, Nov. 1 (All Saints), and Jan. 1. That seems to make sense because they are holy days “of obligation.”

Solemnities and Feasts of the Lord rank higher than Sundays of Christmas or Ordinary Time (but not Sundays of Advent, Lent, nor Easter)

Calendar Nerdy Observation

The oddball is All Souls, which is ranked as a Commemoration, but one which outranks the Sunday of Ordinary Time when they coincide.

cf. This Table of Liturgical Days

I believe it is celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. If there is one celebrated nearby. Here TLM Calendar or here Ordo 2019

Edit: I guess this response was a little late…

Happy Birthday to my Mother and Queen!!! What would I do without you??? :slightly_smiling_face:


As it happens, my local parish did “celebrate” the feast while still observing the rubrics. Readings and propers for the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, but Father still referenced the feast and we sang Salve Regina at the end of Mass.


A shrine about an hour from my house always has a giant birthday candle for the Blessed Mother. I always try to go, usually by myself. This year, my little family of three made a tiny pilgrimage for Mass and a birthday celebration.

I am very grateful for days like today, because my Buddhist husband attended Mass in honor of our Blessed Mother.


The original poster speaks as though this is the first time that this has happened. It happens every few years.

Yes, and I felt the same way the last time it happened. If the Nativity of Mary was a solemnity, as St. John’s Nativity is, this would never happen.

Her Motherhood, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption are all solemnities. Is that not enough?

It seems to me that the “sense” of the faithful is that it’s not… the faithful still celebrate her nativity even when the liturgy does not. As I witnessed at my parish on Sunday.

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Yesterday I attended the first Sunday Mass (7:30 AM) at my parish which has no music. The priest when processing out started singing Immaculate Mary. I was pleased along with others who attended the Mass. Should I mention the priest is young and just ordained back in June?:grin:


Don’t we always honor Our Lady at every Mass anyway? She’s part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, right?

Building on my previous reply, the nativity of Our Lady is also a much older feast than the Immaculate Conception, and remains the greater feast in the East.

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And it’s the first of the Great Feasts of the new liturgical year (we started September 1). I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the new liturgical year begins with the Nativity of the Theotokos and wnds with her Dormition.


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