Ascension Day Question

For those of us on the traditional calendar, May 17 is a holy day of obligation, is it not?

Definitely. But if you live in the U.S. you can transfer mandatory attendance at Mass to the following Sunday, traditional or otherwise.

That’s not to say you should but you can.

Huh? :confused:


In most if not all dioceses of the US the observance is switched to Sunday before Pentecost.

In the Archdiocese of New York, Ascension Thursday is a Holy Day of Obligation. Don’t know about others dioceses.

It depends on the diocese and it doesn’t matter if you follow the new or 1962 calendar. It’s within the power of the local ordinary to move most of the Holy Days of obligation to the following Sunday. The best bet is to check with your local chancery to see what the rule is in your neighborhood.

I’m not sure if any have changed, but as of last year the ecclesiastical provinces of New York, Newark, Hartford, Boston, Philadelphia, and Omaha* maintained the Solemnity of the Ascension on Thursday.

(* The dioceses of: New York, Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Ogdensburg, Rochester, Rockville Centre, Syracuse, Newark, Camden, Metuchen, Paterson, Trenton, Hartford, Bridgeport, Norwich, Providence, Boston, Burlington, Fall River, Manchester, Portland, Springfield, Worcester, Philadelphia, Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Omaha, Grand Island, Lincoln)

Still wondering what BobP123 was talking about?,

I stand corrected. Not all U.S. diocese.

Will have to remember that list at the next trick question game. :slight_smile:

It’s the same here in the diocese of Syracuse. I think pretty much all the dioceses of the US Northeast have kept Ascension Thursday. The rest of the USA have transferred it… Of course the semester of my internship, I was studying from home. I went back up to my college for a visit the week before Ascension Thursday in 2005 (it was before finals week that year.) The college was within my diocese. the college chaplin transfered observence of Ascension Thursday to the following Sunday. Wasn’t it nice of him to grant the entire college a dispensation all by him self? Even though the churches in the neighboring community were saying it’s a day of obligation and were having masses that day… I didn’t see eye to eye with him…

In regards to the OP, I believe those indult parishes that follow the calendar of 1962, Ascension Thursday is still regarded as a Holy Day. Because the surrounding diocese may have dispensed the obligation and transferred Holy Day to the following Sunday, then no longer requires the faithful who worship at the indult to attend Mass on the traditional day. However, imop, the indult parish should still offer Masses on the traditional day, with the emphasis that if you can come, you should be there.

Now if someday the Tridentine Mass become recognized as an autonomous ritual church with its own bishop, then it would be Holy day of obligation for those who worship according to that liturgical rite.

The indult to use the '62 books does not alter the obligations of Catholics outside of the proper conduct of the pertinent rites, so they are bound by the same Holy Days of Obligation as the rest of the diocese. You’re right, then, and also right that the parish should still make Ascension Mass(es) available for the faithful.

Huh? :confused:

I think I get it now (especially since BobP123 has amended his statement to “not everywhere inthe US”).

Can. 1248 §1 The obligation of assisting at Mass is satisfied wherever Mass is celebrated in a catholic rite either on a holyday itself or on the evening of the previous day.

If your diocese has transferred the celebration of the Ascension to Sunday, it has likewise suppressed the obligation to attend on Thursday. You fulfill your obligation by attending on Sunday*, celebrating either the current Missal or 1962 (or in another Catholic rite). It does not matter what readings are used, nor what feast that liturgy may celebrate.

I would expect a community using the traditional calendar to celebrate Ascension on Thursday, but obligation is not attached.

(* Or Saturday evening, but that is unlikely to apply to a traditional community)

:twocents: I could be wrong :twocents:


I’ll try to find out if the parish in Cleveland that has the TLM offers a Mass on Ascension Thursday. In the Diocese of Cleveland, the Mass for Ascension has been transferred to Sunday.

Churches that offer a Tridentine Mass for Holy Days in Chicago will offer a Tridentine Mass on May 17 for Ascension Thursday.

Since my parish only offers Sunday Mass, I’ll have to go elsewhere for Ascension Thursday.

If the local ordinary has moved the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday rather than Thursday, your obligation is satisfied even if you attend the Tridentine Mass that day, which would be the Sunday after the Ascension.

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