Holy Day of Obligation: Assumption


In Canada is the Assumption a Holy Day of Obligation??


To the best of my knowledge the only Holy Days of Obligation in Canada are Christmas Day and New Years Day.


When you are at Mass on Sunday, pick up a copy of the bulletin. Any of the coming weeks HDO’s will be listed.


That’s very sad. :frowning:


Looks right.

@TheCardinalBird if you ever need to Double check your HDOs, does your parish habe a website?


What is “sad” about it?

The Assumption isn’t a legal holiday in Canada, while it is in much of Europe


Due to the wonderful thing that is evening mass, that doesn’t matter any more.

I don’t think getting the faithful to move off their couches more than twice a year when they’re going to go anyway is all that much to ask. I remind you people were torn apart by lions for the faith. God Bless!


The bishops thought otherwise, based on their own analysis of the situation. I wouldn’t want to second guess them myself.

A couple of centuries ago, there were scores of holy days of obligation, weekly or more often. Now not so much. Circumstances change.

When I was in high school, one of my school chums- his parents joined the Christian Missionary Alliance Church, he was expected to be in church like 3 or 4 times a week with them. I don’t think our C&MA friends expect their faithful to attend that often either , in the modern day. The circumstances have changed for them as well.


Well, I will. I find these decision ridiculous. Like shifting the assumption to a Sunday. It disrupts sacred tradition.

Maybe more people would go to Church if we didn’t constantly give them reasons not to. Circumstances have not changed. Medieval peasants could afford to leave their crops far less than modern man his TV.

Once again, I disagree. I also disagree that modern man is somehow busier than men in the past. If anything, he can get to Church far easier than they ever could. There is no good excuse for these changes. God Bless!


I am a modern man and I need to be at work monday through friday during normal business hours. yes, with evening mass I can fulfill my obligations. Though, an assumption that modern man holds tv higher than going to mass is a bit of an oversimplification. life can get complicated, if yours is not, count your blessings, not everyone can be as “traditional” as you would like everyone to be.



If you can’t make it, you can’t make it. All the things you mentioned apply for Sunday mass as well. That doesn’t mean anyone is calling for us to remove that obligation. Yet.


I don’t think so. The old timers lived within earshot of the church- most could hear the angelus bells ringing.

In the modern era, it requires fighting traffic and driving for miles, rather than just taking a stroll to church.


Then again, they had to tend crops daily to avoid starvation. Plus, there were some villages and hamlets where people had to walk miles to get to their nearest Church. They had a lot more problems than we do today.


I used to think the same way that you did and then I had children.

We still do everything we can to make it to Divine Liturgy on all major feasts, whether they have been designated as days of obligation or not. Isn’t that what this is all about: living the liturgical year?

But if such a feast day falls during the week, especially after school has started, I have to ask if this really is what the Church has in mind when it obligates us to celebrate the feast? Because the obligation goes beyond getting ourselves to Mass. We are to celebrate the feast as we are to celebrate Sunday. Is this really accomplished in a society that isn’t Catholic? We still go to work. We still have to get the kids to school and pick them up. I give the homeschooled kids the day off, but I don’t have the option to do that for my high schoolers. As for my own life, this Wednesday for example. I’ve told the soccer coach that we won’t be there for practice. I will get home from picking the kids up from school at around 4:00. My parish has Divine Liturgy at 5:30. We leave at 4:45, fight traffic and hope to get there by 5:30. We might be a few minutes late because traffic can be unpredictable. We get out at 7:00 and home by 7:30. The high schoolers usually have homework that needs to be done. The three-year-old is in full meltdown mode because it is nearing bedtime and the routine has been thrown off. Oh, and dinner? We kinda had snacks for dinner around 4:00 because that’s all there was time for so everyone is hungry. Instead of celebrating a great feast of the Church, it has been reduced to a stressful evening of filling the obligation. Do you think this is what the Church has in mind?

If I lived in a traditionally Catholic country, everybody would have the day off. We could begin the day with worship in the Divine Liturgy, have a leisurely day of visiting friends and family, having a nice meal together, befitting the feast.

I don’t necessarily think that eliminating the concept of Holy Days of Obligation is the answer, but I certainly understand the thinking of those who advocate for this.


Look, I understand this could be a problem for some people.

And, of course, if one really cannot go, it is not a sin.

But what I’m trying to say is that to sacrifice about one week from fifty-two a year (that is, six days out of 365) by going to mass (or divine liturgy) and resting as far as possible in the modern world for Holy Days of Obligation, is not too great a sacrifice to make for Our Lord. With fasting rules already as lax as they are, the extension of mass to Sunday (and Saturday) evenings, and all the pastoral adaptations that have been introduced, it really is easier than ever.

Of course, this may be different for you, our Eastern Catholic friends. I am not in a position to know any specific regulations that apply, but I’ll be very interested to find out.


The Church has always made adjustments to Holy Days based on the needs of the faithful and has to contribute to grapple with it, as the influence of the Church is society continues to wane.

In the 17th Century, the number of Holy Days of Obligation was limited to 36. In 1918, it was further reduced to 10 (and the Bishops given wide latitude in their own territories) for the exact same reasons that we struggle with today: Feasts that were not also civil holidays were extremely difficult for the faithful to observe.

I lament the fact that Christians are losing the rhythm of life that comes with the liturgical calendar and the traditions surrounding the feasts. I think it is a great loss. I’m also saddened that solemnities that are not days of obligation have kind of been reduced to “no big deal” in many places. My husband went to an early morning Mass on the Feast of the Transfiguration because he wasn’t able to join us at the Divine Liturgy in the evening. The priest did not arrive on time because of a miscommunication as to who was saying the Mass. When he did arrive, he was confused by what had been laid out for him and asked, “Is today some kind of feast day?” For the feast of the Transfiguration! How tragic that we have lost that awareness. And yes, doing away with even more Holy Days of Obligation will further erode that.

I’m not sure what the solution is, I just know that eliminating the obligation is not some 21st century innovation, brought about by weakness and lack of faith.


Well, the Assumption is not a legal holiday in the US, either, yet it’s still a Holy Day of Obligation for the United States (except Hawaii). And the Ascension (for example) is still a Holy Day of Obligation for the following states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Nebraska.

I always attend a 7PM Mass at our Cathedral (which is near my office) for the Assumption each year. Same for most other holy days of obligation when I have to work.

Personally, I think it’s often a mistake when individual Bishops (or conferences) remove the obligation from Holy Days of Obligation or move them to Sunday, but that’s just me.


I thought Assumption was still a Holy Day of Obligation throughout the U.S.? At least it still is in California. Regardless of whether it carries an obligation or not, it is still a Holy Day.


My bad! You are correct! I was thinking of the Ascension :blush:

I just edited my post


You are correct.

I must say that I’ve not been in a parish in recent years where the obligation to attend Mass on the feast of Mary, Mother of God has been stressed. I always attend Mass that day and in my parish it’s not attended by more than a handful of people and there is no choir.

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