BatangRizal Photography

BatangRizal Photography

The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honour of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family.

The feast of the Holy Family was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893 and until January 1969 was celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany; that is to say, on whichever day from January 7 through January 13, all inclusive, fell on a Sunday (see General Roman Calendar of 1962).

It is now observed on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day, in the Octave of Christmas; in years when no such Sunday exists, because both December 25 and the ensuing January 1 are Sundays, it is held on December 30, a Friday in such years.

The feast is not a holy day of obligation, but the obligation to attend Mass holds for the Sunday on which it most frequently falls, as happens for other feasts and solemnities that happen to be celebrated on a Sunday.

When the Feast of the Holy Family was moved to its present date, its previous place in the calendar was taken by the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Most Protestant denominations refer to the Sunday that Roman Catholics call the Feast of the Holy Family simply as the First Sunday after Christmas.

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