All Saints Day in Canada

So if I (not really me but someone close to me) am traveling on business and I make an effort to go to Mass on All Saints Day but the little church I try to go to has changed the schedule to such that I cannot attend because of my work schedule, then: Am I missing Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation? (But it’s not apparently a Holy Day of Obligation in Canada) or Do the rules of my home diocese apply whether I’m traveling or not?

Ouch. You are American I assume?

Umm…you realize All Saints Day was yesterday, right?

In any case, here’s how it works.

All Saints Day is a universal Holy Day of Obligation. So it’s a universal law.

Canada (or we could say ‘the people in Canada’) are released from that universal law by the fact that the Canadian bishops requested and received permission from the Holy See to remove the obligation.

As a traveler, when you visit a place that has been exempted from a universal law, the exemption applies to you the traveller.

Canon 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.

Therefore: No. You would not be missing a Holy Day of Obligation if you are in Canada on All Saints Day. Not you, nor any other person in Canada, whether resident or traveller.


This is an interesting conversation.

Is a Canadian who comes to American obligated? What if, not knowing it was an obligation in America they didn’t plan for travel to a church?

This happened to my husband once. We had a HDO that our dioceses moves to the weekend. We didn’t think anything of it. He was traveling for work and he and a co-worker traded off use of the car. He found out after his co-worker had been promised the car and had plans, that it was a HDO where he was.

I can understand if one is traveling to a place where an HDO is not observed, they would not be obligated because there may be no extra Masses…but what about the opposite? Is one to research every time they travel to ensure the area dosn’t have an HDO?

What if, as what’s happened to me, you live in a diocese that doesn’t observe but work in one that does? I wound up late for work because the usual 30 minute Daily Mass was a hour-long HDO Mass. Was I bound to stay once I found out that I was at a HDO Mass?

This has come up before on CAF and I’m not sure if the old thread made it over to this new board, but the answer was that you’re governed by your home diocese rules when you travel. It makes sense because let’s say I’m from Ontario and I travel for 2 days to Madagascar, how am I reasonably going to know when their holydays might be? It’s not necessarily going to be easy to find the info on the web, it might not even be in my language (I’ve had lots of “fun” trying to find Masses that fit my travel schedule in places like Central Europe), anyway I’m still under jurisdiction of my bishop back home.

If you made a good faith effort to go to Mass anyway and the church changed schedule, you get credit for trying but I doubt it’s a sin if you miss. Ask your priest in confession next time if you are concerned.

No. That’s not how the laws work.

Saying that a traveller is bound by the rules of the home diocese is not accurate.

In this situation, the OP is bound by the obligation in his home diocese; but released from the obligation as a traveller in Canada. This is because when a territory is loosed from a universal obligation, the release applies to both the residents and to travelers.

Canon 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.

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The Law answers that.

If you are exempt from a universal law in your home territory, you are likewise exempt when you travel to another place–even if the obligation still exists in that other place. In canon law, we say “the dispensation travels with you.” Imagine that the dispensation is a piece of paper you have in your pocket, a ticket (ok, tongue-in-cheek a get-out-of-Mass card). You get it in your home diocese, you put it in your pocket, and when you are in that new place, you make use of it.

Since he was exempt at home, he continued to be exempt when he travelled.

Again, the law answers this. You are not obligated to observe Holy Days that apply to the place of travel IF you are exempt at home.

That is exactly the mind of the Church. It would be an unreasonable burden on people to expect them to learn the laws that only apply to a certain place whenever they visit that place.

Since you live in a place that is exempt, you are always exempt, even if you are only gone for a few hours.

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Thanks so much! I was concerned because the person traveling to Canada is my husband.

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