Alongside the liturgical seasons, which span different dates every year, the Church celebrates the feasts of the saints, which fall on the same days every year, no matter what. I have tried to capture in this post something of why we celebrate saints liturgically.
To keep ourselves aware that saints are celebrated every day, my family has enjoyed Saints: A Year in Faith and Art. In our good periods, we read it nightly at dinner.
For special feasts in our family we have drawn on My Nameday: Come for Dessert. It has a lot more than just food ideas!
In the Roman Rite, the go-to book for saints’ days is the Roman Martyrology. The pre-Vatican II martyrology is easily available online. For more about the 2004 Martyrology, see my article here.
It is also worth mentioning that the Church celebrates many Biblical Saints, including people you might not have realized were considered saints by the Church.
The Nameday Song
Although the Happy Birthday Song is a fond part of our secular heritage, what should one do on one’s nameday? Introducing the Nameday Song, with original music by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski and words by yours truly! The melody is jolly, as befits the occasion, but offers a discrete nod to the traditional chant for the Litany of the Saints. Sing all four parts if you happen to have a choir at your party; otherwise, just take the top line in unison.
St. Jerome. Since devotion to St. Jerome seems to have flagged since the middle ages, I found an old Latin hymn for his feast day and translated it, and my friend Dr. Peter Kwasniewski gave it a fresh hymn setting. If you need to ramp up your celebration today, you can grab that hymn here; a midi file to help you get the melody is here.