>>> J. B. L. Tolhurst, _The Monastic Breviary of Hyde Abbey, Winchester_
>>>volume VI "Introduction to the English Monastic Breviaries" (London:
>>>HBS, 1942) 146-8
>My apologies.  You initiated this discussion with a question (i.e., when
>the grading of saint's days as "in capis" and "in albis" began in England),
>and in response, you seem to have gotten only more questions thus far.
>Alas, I too have no answer, but instead another question for you.
>You mention eight grades, but list only two.  For the benefit of the group,
>could you describe all eight, and also indicate whether increasing
>numerical order indicates descending priority (i.e., grade 1 is the
>holiest, and 8 the least so) or vice versa.
>Thanks in advance.
>--Christopher Mislow


Tolhurst lists eight grades of feast day in descending order of importance:

1. The principal feasts of the year:  Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, etc. as
well as the anniversary of the Patron.

2. Feasts of great solemnity, but not of equal par with grade one:
Epiphany, Circumcision, All Saints, etc. as well as the feasts of saints
locally venerated  (in capis).

3. Feasts of the Apostles and Evangelists not in grades one or two as well
as saint's days of "universally" high grade (in albis).

4. Simple feasts with twelve lessons.

5. Sundays not in the preceding grades and Ash Wednesday.

6. Feasts having three lessons at Matins (= Night Office) and days within

7. Days on which a saint had no office of his own but only a memorial after

8. Ordinary week days whose office gives way to any feast or day within an

The manner in which the daily routine was affected when one feast coincided
with another or fell on a Sunday was apparently a matter of local monastic
practice, although feasts of higher rank normally took precedence.  It would
appear, however, that no feast was ever neglected, despite its rank, and
room was made to suitably commemorate all feasts of the day.