From Gr. ἑορτή, festival, a branch of liturgiology devoted to the history of liturgical feasts and seasons. In the more general liturgiological treatises the Church calendar (see calendar, christian) is usually discussed only incidentally. There have been some during the past three centuries, however, who have written special studies on the Church year; among them are: L. de Thomassin, Traité des festes de l'Église, v. 2 of Traités historiques et dogmatiques sur divers points de la discipline de l'Église et de la morale chrétienne (Paris 1683); Benedict XIV, De festis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, beatae Mariae Virginis et quorumdam sanctorum, v. 10 of Opera (Rome 1747–51); and N. Nilles, Kalendarium manuale utriusque ecclesiae orientalis et occidentalis, 2 v. (2d ed. Innsbruck 1896–97). In 1900 H. Kellner recommended that heortology be recognized as a separate department of study (H. Kellner, Heortologie [3d ed. rev. Freiburg 1911]; English version Heortology [London 1908]). The increase since then of heortological treatises, particularly in the form of articles, is doubtless due in a measure to his influence. Broader contemporary studies on the calendar include F. G. Holweck, Calendarium liturgicum festorum Dei et Dei Matris Mariae (Philadelphia 1925); W. H. Frere, Studies in Early Roman Liturgy, v.1 The Kalendar (Alcuin Club Collections 28; London 1930); and F. X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs (New York 1958). As Weiser indicates, popular customs connected with Church festivals and seasons pertain more properly to folklore than to heortology.
See Also: liturgical year in roman rite.
[r. f. mcnamara]