Holy Day of Obligation Question

I am wondering if it is unusual for a parish priest to not offer an evening Mass for a holy day of obligation (HDO) to his parishioners. For the week leading up to Ascension Thursday (a HDO in our diocese) our pastor never mentioned to us that this HDO was coming up or what time Mass would be offered, as he has done in the past for HDO’s.
The weekday Mass is normally at 8:30, but I couldn’t get my kids to that Mass because of school, nor could my husband attend because of work. I figured there must be an evening Mass offered and checked the bulletin to find that no, there was no other Mass offered. That morning Mass had been moved to 9 AM instead of 8:30…??? Which made no sense to me as that really makes it more complicated than 8:30 for students and workers. What is 1/2 an hour difference anyway?? Thursday is our pastor’s “day off” which I understand he deserves etc…blah blah blah. But I find it VERY strange that he would pretty much shun this OBLIGATION and leave us to find another church to attend when we really should not have been left to have to do that IMO. what do you think? :shrug:

A quick, polite call to the parish office will give you all the information you need.

Are you absolutely certain the obligation has not been transferred to Sunday?


There should be an evening Mass for a Holy Day of Obligation that falls during the week due to children attending school and people at work. However, as stated above, there is the possibility that the Feast of the Ascension was transferred to Sunday. In most dioceses (except a select few), the Feast of the Ascension is transferred to the following Sunday - the Seventh Sunday of Easter. If the the Holy Day was not transferred, please discuss this with your priest and hopefully he can give you a valid explanation.

Well, I wasn’t sure until I found the time for the Mass in the bulletin and underneath it said “Holy Day of Obligation”. I will try to ask him tomorrow after Mass though I fear the response I will get. This may be just one more thing I don’t want to learn about this priest. :frowning:

I just did another search for my diocese and found this:

Furthermore, the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York (Diocese of Buffalo), Newark, Philadelphia and Nebraska have retained the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord on the proper Thursday.

This includes my diocese…I am so very saddened that this happened. I suppose it’s not a sin that I didn’t go to Mass on this HDO since I was not able to attend the 9 AM Mass and wasn’t able to get to another church??
How can there not have been a Mass offered that people could actually have attended?? I don’t understand! No matter what explanation I receive from my pastor, is any explanation really going to suffice?! He always says we need to be holier people…wow, if this is his example of how we increase our holiness we’re a sad, sorry example if you ask me! :frowning:

Our church has 10 Masses every Sunday and 10 Masses on all other Holy Days of Obligation.

WOW! Sounds HEAVENLY! You may not want to mention exactly where you attend…but I am curious as to where-abouts you are…It must be a very large city!

Our priest has 4 weekend Masses and ‘just can’t do one more’ since he’s so exhausted. Confessional—here I come!

Well, you should definitely talk to your priest. At a minimum, he should know that there’s an interest level out there to have an evening Mass celebrated on days of obligation. And although it’s possible he’s just a slacker, or that after years of no one coming he decided not to bother, give him a fair chance that he had responsibilities that interfered with having an evening Mass. Some priests share duties at multiple parishes, or minister at prisons or universities, or things like that. Ask and you shall know.

it depends on your location and your priest.

I a lot of big cities (like where I used to live) there were many opportunities for the HDO-- the night before, several masses on the day of, starting early in the morning and going to evening.

Where I live now, there is one priest for 3 parishes and he has 1 mass at each parish. And each of those masses are when they are convenient for him-- like 9 am, 4 pm, etc-- and not convenient for working parishioners.

Oh, and our priest never announces it ahead of time. you have to bug him to tell you when the mass is going to be.

So, you do what you can. If you **cannot **get to mass, then you have not committed a sin.

What the? Confession?

Your husband and children have no Mass obligation whatsoever on HDOs if the times of available Masses conflict with necessary work or school obligations. Both work and school commitments constitute more than sufficiently ‘grave reason’ to dispense one from one’s obligation on an HDO.

Which means all school and work commitments, realistically. School and work are hardly optional extras. Unless your husband is a self-employed multi-millionaire who can afford to disoblige clients or colleagues by taking the time off or something. :shrug:

And if they can attend and choose not to, that’s certainly no sin of yours. If you could take them after school/work and you refused to, again, that would be a different matter.

Our Lady of Fatima Church, Las Pinas City, Metro Manila.

The reason for the high number of Masses is that we have an average parish attendence at Mass of around 80%. As our parish comprises 14,000 people Mass attendence each Sunday is on average 11,000 (plus or minus).
At every Mass the inside of the Church is always packed full and people are standing inside and outside on the streets. Speakers let those outside hear Mass.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.