Ascension Thursday no longer a Holy Day of Obligation, right?

This is my understanding—Since 1999----but I always want to double-check.


it depends on your archdiocese if they will dispense the obligation. sometimes they will just move it to the closest sunday

check your archdiocese website

It was a Holy Day of Obligation in the Pittsburgh Diocese.


Found answer on another thread;

And you need not go on Thursday, unless you are in the metropolitan ecclesiastical province of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, or Omaha. If you live in one of those provinces, you must go on Thursday and Sunday

I’m in eastern Nebraska and yes it was a holy day here. (Omaha diocese)

The various exceptional dioceses notwithstanding, the keyword is Thursday.

The Ascension is still a Holy Day of Obligation but since it is celebrated on Sundays in most dioceses of the United States, those dioceses would not have an additional day of the week with an associated obligation to attend Mass.

As others have said, it depends where you are, but I like to consider it a Holy Day of Opportunity…

That means that even though I don’t HAVE to go to Mass, I have the Opportunity to do so and make it a Special Thursday. I jump at the chance :slight_smile:

God bless.

Yup, what’s been said on here is correct. “Holy Day of Opportunity,” I like that! :smiley:

For PatriceA, who mentioned Pittsburgh, that’s correct that today is a day of obligation since Pittsburgh is a suffragan diocese of Philadelphia.

It is not a Holy Day of Obligation in the Portland, Oregon diocese.:shrug: I remember when it used to be.

The feast of the Ascension is, and remains, a holy day of obligation.

HOWEVER: For some dioceses, the feast of the Ascension has been transferred to the following Sunday.

ALL SUNDAYS are holy days of obligation as well.

**Therefore, the Feast of the Ascension is a holy day of obligation which for some U.S. Catholics remains on the Thursday and for some U.S. Catholics will be the Sunday. Either way, it is a holy day and we are obliged to attend, whether it will be on a Thursday or a Sunday. **

in this dioceses and many in the US, yest that is true, the observance has been moved to Sunday, you will have to check your diocesan website.

Actually, you just have to determine whether your diocese is in one of the ecclesiastical provinces listed above. To do that (for the USA) go here, find your diocese and click on it, then over on the right under “General Information” determine whether it is listed as being a metropolitan see itself (e.g., Chicago), or whether another metropolitan is listed, which would make your diocese a suffragan of that metropolitan see (e.g., Camden’s metropolitan see is Newark). If you are in, or a suffragan of, Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, or Omaha, then today is a day of obligation.

This is exactly what our priest and our bulletin said. In our Diocese, it is a Holy Day of Obligation (also a great Opportunity and Privilege to receive Jesus) still observed on the proper day and has not been transfered to Sunday out of convenience. We had Mass last night at 6 PM, and 2 Masses today in our parish (Noon and 6PM). The neighboring parish had a Mass yesterday at 5 PM, and Mass today at Noon and 7PM.
Latin Rite

The Code of Canon Law provides the following general norm for the Latin Rite of the universal Church:

Canon 1246
1. Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church. Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, **the Ascension** and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary Mother of God and her Immaculate Conception and Assumption, Saint Joseph, the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and finally, All Saints.

2. However, the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See.

Depending on one’s nation one could have more or fewer than the ten listed in the Code. For example, the United States adds her patron (The Immaculate Conception), as does Ireland (St. Patrick), Canada (St. Joseph) and many other countries, while dropping several from the list. The following is the complementary norm for the United States, providing for 6 holy days, in addition to all Sundays:

On December 13, 1991 the members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of American made the following general decree concerning holy days of obligation for Latin rite Catholics:

** In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:
1) January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
2) Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension
3) August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
4) November 1, the solemnity of All Saints
5) December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
6) December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ [list numbers are not in original]

Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.

This decree of the Conference of Bishops was approved and confirmed by the Apostolic See by a decree of the Congregation for Bishops (Prot. N. 296/84), signed by Bernardin Cardinal Gantin, prefect of the Congregation, and dated July 4, 1992.

It should be noted that the Ascension is celebrated on Sunday in many dioceses of the US (in accordance with a decision to allow this transfer), reducing the practical number to 5 in many places.

Bold is mine. I have heard moving Ascension to Sunday compared to a two-for-one sale - two Holy Days observed at the same time. I am glad our Diocese has kept the observation of Ascension on Thursday. Two surprises for me - EWTN and the Mass in Fatima celebrated by the Pope today.

I was rather disappointed it wasn’t at least “mentioned in passing” at today’s Mass, at which we had the optional Our Lady of Fatima prayers. But I still like Ascension THURSDAY – reminds me that tomorrow I start a novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost.

In my archdiocese, yes, today was a Holy Day of Obligation (Opportunity!!! LOVE THAT emphasis!!)

And I was grateful for the “time out” of every day secular life of rat race to remember Our Blessed Lord!!

It is here in Philly, my mom went to the Wednesday night service for it.

I live in the Diocese of Richmond, so I guess today’s Holy Day has been transferred to this Sunday. That means the obligation to attend mass was lifted (or transferred to Sunday, but that’s a day of obligation anyway), but was I still supposed to refrain from work today? I didn’t realize that today was Ascension Thursday, and I just put in a full day’s work. I technically could have stayed home, but it’s a little late for that now.

I’ve only been a Catholic since last month, so I’m not sure how these things work…

No. There is no such thing as “Ascension Thursday.” There is a feast of the Ascension, which has traditionally been observed on Thursday. In your diocese, however, as in most of the U.S., the observance has been transferred to Sunday, so today isn’t Ascension anything for you. It is just a weekday in Paschal Time, with an optional memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, neither of which requires anything out of the ordinary for you.

Edited to add: by the way, welcome!

“** There is no such thing as “Ascension Thursday.” **” Well, since the Ascension is acknowledged by the Church and scripture to be 40 days after Easter, Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter is always Ascension Thursday.
*Question: Is Ascension a Holy Day of Obligation?
A lot of confusion reigns about the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, the day on which Jesus Christ, 40 days after rising from the dead, ascended bodily into Heaven. In most of the dioceses of the United States, the celebration of the feast has been transferred to the following Sunday, so many Catholics think that the Ascension is no longer considered a Holy Day of Obligation.
Answer: The Feast of the Ascension remains a Holy Day of Obligation throughout the United States. The day on which it is celebrated, however, varies. The 40th day after Easter Sunday is always a Thursday, and the feast has traditionally been celebrated on that Thursday. However, because attendance at Ascension Thursday Masses had been falling for years, the bishops of the United States, in accordance with canon law, petitioned the Vatican to allow the celebration to be transferred to the following Sunday. *

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