Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
On January 3 the Church celebrates the optional
memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Before
the reform of the Roman Calendar this feast was
celebrated on January 2. In the liturgical revisions of
Vatican II, the feast was deleted in 1970 when the
new liturgical calendar when into effect. It was
deleted at least in part due to the fact that in the
United States the Epiphany was transferred to this
Sunday from its fixed date of January 6.
Throughout this time a votive Mass to the Holy
Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use
– especially by the Dominican and the Franciscan
Pope John Paul II created a new Holy Name of
Jesus feast in 2002, to be observed on January 3,
bearing the official status of an “optional
memorial”. The feast was formally restored to the
liturgical calendar as an optional memorial with the
release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002.
In addition, the second Sunday of each month is
designated in the Roman Catholic calendar as a
“Holy Name Sunday”, and has its own special
Mass, which may be substituted for the regular
one that would otherwise be solemnized on that
Sunday (except if a major observance such as
Easter falls on that day). This is similar to the
Catholic devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
which by tradition is practiced on the first Friday
of each month, which has its own special Mass
(the same Mass as the one used annually on the
Feast of the Sacred Heart).
The Feast of the Holy Name is an obligatory
memorial for professed members of the Holy Name
Society – all professed members are required to
attend Mass on this day or pray the Liturgy of the
Hours for the Holy Name, or recite the Litany to
the most Holy Name of Jesus or make another
special devotion to the Holy Name on January 3rd.
It is also highly recommended that all noviates be
formally inducted into the Confraternity during or
immediately after Mass on this very special feast

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