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Why is there not a Liturgical Feast in honour of the Father within the Catholic Church?

The Catholic Church is trinitarian in thought and belief. Yet She has no liturgical celebration in honour of the Father. We pray the Our Father at Mass every day.

It’s sad that in the whole liturgical year there isn’t a feast dedicated to the Father, that in the whole Missal there isn’t even a votive Mass in His honour. Come to think of it, it’s very strange; there are many feasts dedicated to Jesus the Son; there is a feast of the Holy Spirit; there are many feasts dedicated to Mary... There isn’t a single feast dedicated to the Father, “source and origin of all divinity”. We could almost say that the Father, and no longer the Holy Spirit, is “the unknown divinity”.

It’s true, there is the feast of the Holy Trinity, which, however, is the feast of a mystery, or a dogma and not of a person and, nevertheless, not of a single divine person. Besides, the fact that there is a feast of the Holy Family doesn’t mean the Church may not feel the need to celebrate, even individually, the three persons of the Holy Family. There are even two feasts dedicated to Jesus’ putative father, but there isn’t a single feast dedicated to His real Father. Couldn’t this be the moment to fill this gap?

Many feasts originated in order to answer the particular needs of an era: the feast of Corpus Domini, for example, was born as a response of faith to the denial of the real presence, made by Berengario of Tours; to the threat of Jansenism, the Church responded with the feast and devotion to the Sacred Heart and no one will ever know how many spiritual graces this devotion produced. Today, the threat strikes the very heart of the Christian faith which is the revelation of God as Father – the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”, as St. Paul calls Him – and, therefore, the Trinity itself. It’s not a coincidence that Providence is bringing back to mind, in our days, the mystery of God’s suffering, but because the Holy Spirit knows that this is the remedy needed to heal the contaminated mind of modern man, who has found, in suffering, the stumbling stone which leads him far away from God.

In the teachings of the Church, feasts have always been a privileged means of allowing a particular mystery or event of the history of salvation to penetrate in the lives of the faithful. The knowledge and familiarity of the Holy Spirit certainly wouldn’t be so strong without the feast of Pentecost. Feasts are a living catechesis and today there is an urgent need for a catechesis on the Father. Besides its catechetic value, a feast dedicated to the Father would also have, like any other feast, the value of homologesis, that is of a public and joyful confession of faith. In fact, feasts are the highest and most solemn form of proclaiming one’s faith, because all people participate in it unanimously. Christians would certainly give great joy to the risen Lord if they were able to accomplish this project “ecumenically”, that is, reaching an agreement with all the Churches who accept it in order to celebrate, with one accord, the feast of the Father on the same day.

While we look forward to this day, we can already celebrate the feast of the Father “in spirit and in truth”, in the intimacy of our hearts, by perhaps promoting little spiritual initiatives whose purpose is to make the Father known more, to honour Him and express all our filial love for Him, in union with Jesus, who always celebrates His Father... In fact, this is already taking place and many people are experiencing the new and extraordinary fervour it gives to faith and to our whole spiritual life. - A feast for the Father By P. Raniero Cantalamessa ofmcap.

I am unaware of any Feast of the Father at a local level within the Church. Perhaps one does exist or had existed, but again I am in ignorance on this subject matter. It seems odd to me.

Thus my question: Why is there not a Liturgical Feast in honour of the Father within the Catholic Church?

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  • There doesn't exist a Marian feast devoted to Our Lady's virginity, either. Juniper, O.F.M., Mariology vol. 1, ref:20.114: "Although there is no feast today in the Roman calendar honoring Mary in her virginity, there have been, in certain places, days set aside to honor her through this privilege: fourth Sunday in July — her Virginity; third Sunday in May — Queen of Virgins; first Sunday in August — Faithful Virgin, etc."
    – Geremia
    Jan 3 at 1:48
  • I think that your presumption is a misconception: Pentecost - as an example - is not the feast of the holy spirit but it is about an event that happened: The coming of the holy spirit to the humans. Jan 3 at 20:52
  • @MartinRosenau Not according to Catholicism. Both are true.
    – Ken Graham
    Jan 3 at 21:22
  • Absolutely everything, in all of creation is supposed to glorify the Father. He does not desire a special day...He deserves a special everything. "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Jan 4 at 2:25
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    @martin there is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which I believe would be a 2nd Person of the Trinity feast without being about a particular event. (unless it's the 'Naming' of Jesus by Gabriel)
    – Peter Turner
    Jan 6 at 17:33

2 Answers 2

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The action of the Mass is the Son offering Himself to the Father with the Holy Spirit:

  1. Who is the principal priest in every Mass? The principal priest in every Mass is Jesus Christ, who offers to His heavenly Father, through the ministry of His ordained priest, His body and blood which were sacrificed on the cross. (a) The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross. It is now in the New Law, the sacrifice that is acceptable to God.1

Pray brethren that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable to God the Father almighty 2

So in that sense every Mass is celebrated for the Father. And every variation (whether of season, of Saint, or votive) is in addition to that.

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I do not think we need one. In the New Testament, Jesus tells us in John 10:30 that "I and my Father are one". So if Jesus and the Father are one then we can take it that when we give glory to Jesus at mass in the Church, we are also glorifying the Father as well.

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