Pauline Feast OK'd for Sunday in '09

Vatican Authorizes Decree for Jubilee Year

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 1, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican will allow the Mass for the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul to be said on a Sunday in 2009, during the Pauline jubilee year.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments published Friday the decree authorizing the Mass to be said Jan. 25, 2009, which falls on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Some feasts that coincide with a Sunday are moved to a weekday since the normal Sunday liturgy usually takes precedent.

The decree, signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith, respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation, explains that the authorization is a special permission given during the Pauline Year.

Benedict XVI declared the jubilee year marking the 2,000th anniversary of Paul's birth. It will be held from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009.

The decree states: "The Apostle St. Paul, who proclaimed the truth of Christ to the whole world and did so after being Christ’s persecutor, spent himself in using every means to proclaim the Good News to the nations, committing himself with zeal to the unity and concord of all Christians, has always been and continues to be venerated by the faithful, especially in this particular year, the bimillennium of his birth, which the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI desired to institute as a special jubilee year.

"Thus, in virtue the faculties conferred on this Congregation by the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, it is permitted, in an extraordinary manner, that on Jan. 25, 2009, the Third Sunday 'per annum,' a Mass according to the formulary 'Conversion of St. Paul,' as is found in the Roman Missal, may be celebrated in the individual churches. In such a case, the second reading of the Mass is taken from the Roman Lectionary for the Third Sunday 'per annum,' and the Creed will be recited."

June 28 will be the solemn opening of the Pauline Jubilee Year. The Pope will preside with first vespers in St. Paul's Outside the Walls.

Then, on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29, he will preside over a 9:30 a.m. Mass, which will include the imposition of the pallium on new metropolitan archbishops.