Can a parish "move" a Holy Day celebration?

The Assumption of Mary, a holy day of obligation is next Thursday the 15th. The parish that I attend does not offer a mass that would not conflict with my work schedule, so I looked around town to see if I could find one that would offer a mass earlier than I have to be at work.

I found one parish that seems to be perfect because their website says that they have daily mass at 8 am. I called to ask what times mass would be offered on Assumption day, and the person who answered the phone told me that they are not celebrating the ‘feast day’ until the 17th. I explained that I wanted to come for my holy day obligation, and he said to come on Saturday. I did ask if regular mass would be offered on the 15th and he said yes. I also looked at the website, and it looks like they are doing a novena for 9 days leading up to the 17th following the evening mass each day.

So, my question is 2 part:

1.) Can they celebrate on the 17th instead of the 15th? and

2.) If I do go to Mass on the 15th (the actual day of obligation) but it is not a designated mass for that celebration, have I fulfilled my obligation? :shrug:



Yes. Any Mass you assist at on the Holy Day satifies your obligation. So, the 8 a.m. Mass would be fine.

You could also check parish schedules for Vigil Mass on Wednesday evening.

Um, unless the Parish is named after the Assumption they probably don’t have permission to move the feast - even then I doubt it - it’s just not close enough to the weekend to qualify. If I were a member of that parish I’d be contacting the bishop, asap.

Ha ha!! Actually, the name of the parish IS Assumption…does that mean they can?

I’d contact the Diocese and see if they have received permission to move the feast. If they have than you’d be OK to celebrate the Holy Day there on the weekend.

They would need permission from the bishop of the Diocese.

A parish can sometimes get permission from their bishop to move their patronal feast day to a Sunday in Ordinary Time. As for moving it to a Saturday, that seems odd. Are you sure they’re not beginning their parish celebrations on Saturday, concluding with a Vigil Mass?

No, absolutely not. They could transfer it to the Sunday but not the Saturday.

Yes, you’ll fulfil your obligation because it’s canonical not liturgical. It’s canonical because you must assist at Mass on all holy days of obligation. It’s not liturgical because the actual Mass doesn’t matter. It could be in the ordinary or extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite; any other rite of the Latin Church; any rite of any eastern or oriental Catholic church.

My parish celebrates a Vigil on the 14th (for the working peeps) and then with 2 Masses on the 15th. The only Holy Day of Obligation (s) that I have heard of being moved were Ascension Thursday (celebrated on the Sunday) and a few others like that. However, in the Diocese of Lincoln, NE their Holy Days fall on Holy Days! What a concept! How I wish we would return to the old traditions!

No, they can’t.

In accord with the provisions of canon 1246, §2 of the Code of Canon Law, which states: “… the conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See,”

(bold is mine)

This is wrong. The day of obligation can only be moved by the Bishop’s conference, not by an individual bishop.

The external solemnity of a solemnity of precept falling a weekday in Ordinary Time can be transferred to the preceding or following Sunday.

Not in all cases. The canon itself says:

Can. 1246 §1. Sunday, on which by apostolic tradition the paschal mystery is celebrated, must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation. The following days must also be observed: the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension, the Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles, and All Saints.

§2. With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.

Now, look further at the decree

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:

January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension
August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 1, the solemnity of All Saints
December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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.

Notice in particular the last paragraph, which says nothing about the transference of the listed solemnities.

I can only assume then that the differences are national. You and another poster have referenced US documents. Maybe it’s something in my jurisdiction that doesn’t apply across the pond.

OK, in that case, have a look here.

Summary Information

From the 1st Sunday of Advent 2006 the Holydays of Obligations for England and Wales changed. They are:

Every Sunday
Birth of the Lord (25 December)
St Peter & St Paul (29 June)
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15 August)
All Saints (1 November)

The following celebrations have been transferred to the Sunday:

Epiphany of the Lord
Ascension of the Lord
Body and Blood of the Lord

Also see the chart that follows.

Then the priest (who shall remain nameless) who told me might be mistaken. I was informed that it was possible to transfer the “external solemnity” (whatvever that phrase means) to a Sunday providing it was a ‘green’ Sunday. In Father’s defence he is, to the best of my knowledge, well-respected for his liturgical expertise.

That is if the bishop is transferring the solemnity for his entire diocese. The situation may be different concerning his discretion over an individual parish whose patronal feast day is also a Holy Day, especially if a) they are not offering a Mass on August 15 at all and b) there are many other parishes local to the patronal parish that are offering an August 15 Mass.

See General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar #58.

There you are…

There are two issues here. The day of the liturgical celebration at a particular parish, and the day of obligation. The national Bishops conference is given the authority to set Holy Daus of Obligation. I still maintain, an individual bishop or priest cannot move a day of obligation.

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