...of England and Wales,
Please may we have our feast-days back? Today is the feast of the Epiphany, one of the most important celebrations in the Christmas season, marking the manifestation of Christ to the wider world. If I were in Scotland, or if I were an Anglican, I would find it marked in my calendar - but as I'm a Catholic in the London suburbs I have to pretend it doesn't really exist, as it has been officially arbitrariuly abolished by being merged into the nearest Sunday. No one asked for this to be done, and it has caused much hurt and resentment. We feel we have been robbed.
Please, as part of the New Evangelisation, may we have our proper feast-days back? We need to know we are part of the worldwide universal Church, and can celebrate our faith certainty and with joy. Celebrating feasts and seasons is something understood by everyone: it forges a bond with people of other faiths, links us to one another in neighbourliness, offers opportunities for bringing Christ into weekday life. Going to Mass on a feast-day is not a chore, it's not something we do with plodding steps and a sense of doom - it's something important,joyful, significant, it gives meaning and purpose, lifts our hearts, reminds us why we're here, why we were born.
Of course I know I can go to Mass today - like many other Londoners I often go to a weekday Mass, and it's an important part of life. But it won't be the official Epiphany Mass, and there will be a sense of muddle.
Please may we have the Epiphany back, on its proper day, so that we can celebrate Twelfth Night, linking the joy in church to the celebrations we have in our homes?
Dear Bishops, please may we have our feast-days back?
Yours sincerely and obediently,