Roman Catholic Church Will Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Two Days Earlier in 2008

Although it isn't clear whether bars and pubs will follow suit, the Roman Catholic Church will celebrate St. Patrick's Day two days early next year because of the holiday's rare calendar clash with Holy Week.

Traditionally St. Patrick and all things Irish are celebrated on March 17. However, in 2008, March 17 falls on the Monday of Holy Week and, according to church law, the days of Holy Week and Easter rank above all others, according to Catholic News Service. So the solemnity of St. Patrick must be moved to another date.

Officials from the Irish bishops' conference wrote the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments about the conflict, and the congregation's decision was recently made public, CNS reported.

The St. Patricks Festival Committee in Dublin confirmed that next year's parade would go off on March 17 as usual.

In Boston, St. Patrick's Day planner John J. "Wacko" Hurley said next year's parade will go ahead on Sunday, March 16.

"It will have no effect whatsoever," Hurley said. "It'll be the 16th. You can book on that."