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Epiphany and Ascension reinstated to former dates

Detail from a work by Fresken von Gebhard Fugel(1894) (Wikimedia Commons)

The Bishops of England and Wales have decided to reinstate two Holy Days of Obligation, a decision confirmed by the Holy See.

With effect from the First Sunday of Advent 2017, the days reinstated are the Epiphany of the Lord on 6 January, (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday), and the Ascension of the Lord, which takes place on the Thursday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

The two feasts had been transferred to the nearest Sundays in 2006, along with Corpus Christi. The latter feast remains on a Sunday.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said: “I’m delighted to hear that the Holy See has approved the reversion of the Holy Days of the Epiphany and the Ascension to their proper days.”