A question about Holy Days

Hi.

I’m not sure if this is the right section to post this question, I couldn’t find the perfect spot but here it goes.

My parents and I are heading to Portugal to see family for Christmas.
Here in America, there are 2 Holy Days around this time.

Christmas, and (January 1) (I forget the name of the Holy Day, but it is related to Our Lady)

But if I go to Portugal for 2 weeks, must I go to mass on any Portuguese Holy Days of Obligation in this time period (December 20-January 4th)? Or do I only go to mass on the american Holy Days.

Are the Holy Days I am bound to attend based on what country I am in at the time, or in which country I live in, or in which country I am a registered parishoner of (for example, if I was a registered parishioner of a Portuguese Parish, would I have to attend mass for all the Portuguese Holy Days?).

Because I was born and baptized in Portugal, but I had my First Communion and Confirmation here in America.

Also, are there Holy Days that apply to specific Parishes?
For example, The Church I go to here in America is named after The Holy Family. So if there was a feastday dedicated to The Holy Family, Would it be a Holy Day for my parish?

If there are Holy Days that apply at a Parish level, would I go to the Parish Holy Day of the church I attend? Or of the Parish I am registered in.

(I don’t know where I am registered in, and I don’t think I can register anew because I don’t think my parents would allow it) ( I don’t really know how Parishes are organized and how it all works).

How do I know what parish I am a part of? Is it the parish of the Church I attend, or is it the Church closest to where I live? Is there only one church per Parish?

Tell me everything I need to know, so I don’t miss any Holy Days I must attend.

Sorry for all the questions. and Thank you.

May The Lord Our God Bless You All! :slight_smile:

Your obligation will be the obligation of the diocese where you are. So you would need to go on days of obligation in Portugal.

I hope a canonist on the forum will come along and offer a definitive interpretation, but my understanding is that this is not correct. A duration of only two weeks means that an American would still be bound by the Holy Days of Obligation that obtain in the United States.

Christmas is a HDoO everywhere in the world because the practise of Rome is to require that Christmas be retained in local HDoO lists as well, so yes, the OP would have to attend Mass whether one follows the USA or Portugal.

The Mother of God, falling on a Saturday this year, does not have the obligation to attend Mass in the United States, so the OP would not have to attend.

As only a visitor for two weeks, the OP would not be bound by any Portuguese HDoO that happen to fall in that time.

I hope a canonist on the forum will come along and offer a definitive interpretation, but my understanding is that this is not correct. A duration of only two weeks means that one would not be bound by an HDoO established in a place where they are travelling. As only a visitor for two weeks, the OP would not be bound by any Portuguese HDoO that happen to fall in that time.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

You can always send the question to our CAF apologists.

Canon 12 says this:
Can. 12 §1. Universal laws bind everywhere all those for whom they were issued.
§2. All who are actually present in a certain territory, however, are exempted from universal laws which are not in force in that territory.
§3. Laws established for a particular territory bind those for whom they were issued as well as those who have a domicile or quasi-domicile there and who at the same time are actually residing there, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 13.

I stand to be corrected but I think when it comes to Holy Days of Obligation we are dealing with universal law. In other words, there are 10 Holy Days of Obligation according to universal law. If you’re in Portugal, you are not bound to observe those of the 10 which have been abrogated by the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference but you are bound to observe those of the 10 which are observed there.

There are only 2 of the 10 HDOs while you’re there: Christmas and Jan. 1, Feast of Mary, Mother of God. I can only assume that Christmas is observed as an HDO in Portugal, but I don’t know about the feast of Mary, Mother of God. You’d have to find out while you’re there.

The third part of Canon 12, I think, refers to laws that are particular to a diocese. A traveller is not bound by those.

Can someone please explain this?

Also, does anyone have an answer for the other questions I asked?

and are the answers that have been given made with absolute certainty, or guesses?
I just want to be sure. thank you.

Since there are only two HDO while you’re there, would it be that much of a hardship to observe them?

Particular law is only binding on those who live in a diocese. For example, say a certain diocese says that you have to fast every Wednesday. That’s a law particular to that diocese, not a law imposed by the Church on all Catholics. Visitors are not bound by that law, so they are free not to fast when they are there.

Canon 13 is the answer

Can. 13 §1. Particular laws are not presumed to be personal but territorial unless it is otherwise evident.

§2. Travelers are not bound:

1/ by the particular laws of their own territory as long as they are absent from it unless either the transgression of those laws causes harm in their own territory or the laws are personal;

2/ by the laws of the territory in which they are present, with the exception of those laws which provide for public order, which determine the formalities of acts, or which regard immovable goods located in the territory.

§3. Transients are bound by both universal and particular laws which are in force in the place where they are present. (Canon 100: a transient (vagus) if the person does not have a domicile or quasi- domicile anywhere.)

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P3.HTM

You are traveler, and Christmas and New Year’s day are the Holy days of Obligation required by universal law, so obliging. Anything above that is not obliging for a traveler.

But the traveller is not obligated by universal law if it is abrogated where he happens to be.

As a Canadian I’m under obligation to attend Mass on January 1. If I happen to be in the US this year on New Year’s Day, I’m not under any obligation to attend Mass since, in the US, the obligation has been abrogated because it falls on Saturday.

These are universal feast days in the Church. Christmas is always a Holy Day. Jan 1 may or may not be a Holy Day in Portugal since it falls on a Saturday this year. If it is a Holy Day, you are obligated to attend while there.

No.

No.

You seem rather confused. Perhaps you should talk to your priest.

As a minor you are likely registered in whatever parish your parents are registered in. When you become an adult you can register on your own at whatever parish you wish.

This still does not clearly answer a very important and relevant question. January 1 is not an HDO here in the US this year, since it falls on a Saturday, but it is an HDO in other countries. So, if a person lives in the US, where January 1, 2011 is not an HDO, but he/she is a traveler in a country where it is an HDO, would that person be bound to observe the HDO?

In general the Church’s law are territorial. Canon 12 §3 provides that you are not bound by particular laws for your country or diocese if you absent from that territory even if you’re just on holiday.

Can 13 §2 says: “Peregrini and not bound:

1° by the particular laws of their own territory while they are absent from it …
2°by the laws of the territory in which they are present …

This appears to suggest that you’d not be bound by the holy days of obligation in the USA and not by the holy days of obligation in Portugal.:shrug:

May be you could follow the practise amongst priests, if a priest is appointed to serve in a diocese in which he’s not incardinated he follows the local calendar. I would follow the local calendar while you’re in Canada.

To answer the other part of your question. Yes there are parish holy days. These will usually be the anniversary of the date on which it was dedicated (if it’s dedicated) and the titular, i.e. the mystery of the Lord, title of our Lady, or saint by which your church is named. However, I think you’re asking if they’re holy days of obligation. No, they’re not. Only the Holy See can create holy days of obligation and currently it has only accorded this status to ten solemnities in the universal calendar.

If you are an adult living on your own you should be choosing the Parish you are registered at independently of your parents. If you are still in their home you should honor their wishes but speak to the parish priest about whether or not you should register independently of your parents. This would be your home parish where you would attend masses, do service, etc. The Parish where you were baptized is the Parish where your Sacramental record is maintained.

so, even if I were registered in Portugal. I would only have to follow the law of the country im living in, USA. US Holy days, etc… right?

The main question is if you are living in the US why would you not register at a parish in the US where you can participate?

Yes, if you are at home at the time.

OTOH, if it’s one of the 10 Holy Days decreed by Rome (both Christmas and New Year’s Day, Feast of Mary Mother of God, are included in those 10) you follow the law in the place where you are, whether you live there or are visiting.

When you get there find out whether or not the Feast of Mary, Mother of God is a Holy Day of Obligation in Portugal.

If it is a Holy Day of Obligation in Portugal while you are visiting, you have to attend Mass.

If it’s not a Holy Day of Obligation in Portugal while you are visiting, then you don’t have to attend Mass on that day.

Angel, stop. This is your scrupulosity talking.

If it’s a Holy Day while you are in Portugal, you go. If it’s not, you don’t.

It’s that simple.

This is not what the Canon 13 says:

§2. Travelers are not bound:
2/ by the laws of the territory in which they are present, …

The local law does not apply to the traveler, neither the obligations, nor the permissions.

You pastor (at your domicile) can give you permission in advance not to attend mass for serious reason.,

If your domicile is in Canada, the US bishops have no jurisdiction over you at all, they can not give you any permission or obligation.

Canon 12 applies here:
Can. 12 §1. Universal laws bind everywhere all those for whom they were issued.
§2. All who are actually present in a certain territory, however, are exempted from universal laws which are not in force in that territory.

Observance of Christmas and Mary, Mother of God as Holy Days of Obligation are universal laws, not particular laws. But the universal law re. Mary, Mother of God is not enforced in the US this year so nobody who is present there need attend Mass.

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