Holy Day of Obligation question


This year All Saints Day falls on a Friday. As it happens, my adult son has a VERY busy schedule: Class from 9 a.m. - 12:30, work from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and class from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (yes, his school does have a one-night-a-week class on Friday nights.) FWIW his job is a campus job that he was lucky to get and he’s had to ask for some time off already earlier this semester to see to some dental work. As you can see, trying to find a Mass may be problematic. Most churches around have their daily Mass right around 9 a.m.

Things being what they are, what should I advise him he do for the holy day of obligation? (I realize he’s an adult and has to see to things himself, but I’d like to be able to give him some guidance.

Thanks in advance for the help.


Check masstimes.org for the actual times of Masses in your area. There may be an option for going to Mass the evening before at a nearby parish. If not, then your son will have to decide what his priorities are and choose accordingly.


On HDO there are usually more masses than just the one daily mass. Also, there should be a vigil mass on Thursday evening. He should check the Newman Center on campus if there is one to see what time masses will be on campus.

He can also ask his pastor for a dispensation from the obligation if he is unable to find a mass that he can attend.


Many parishes have an evening Mass on All Saints’ Day. Assuming he can find an evening Mass to attend, maybe your son could talk to his professor about coming to class late that day.


Between my husband and I and our children still at home, we have similar schedules this year. The advice to check masstimes.org is very good. Parishes normally have extra Masses on HDO including vigil Masses. The Catholic center on his campus may also have Masses at odd times - I’ve seen college Masses at 10pm or “traveler’s Masses” in the later evening on the Sunday when students are coming back from breaks. He may find that his schedule does not imped him from attending Mass at all.


Many larger parishes have both a vigil mass (Thursday evening) and a Holy Day mass.
My parish has a mass on the vigil of a Holy Day and then twice on the actual Holy Day itself ( a morning mass and an evening mass). There’s really almost no excuse to missing a Holy Day if you have access to a larger parish with lots of options.


Thanks for the responses. They are helpful. One caveat though: The vigil for All Saints Day is Halloween. I have never heard of a church with a Mass that night.
Thanks again and God bless,


I’ve never heard of not having a vigil mass.


Every parish I’ve ever been in has Mass that night. Excellent way to escape from annoying trick or treaters. :stuck_out_tongue:

Please do haev your son check masstimes.org. Even if he has to drive to a different parish, it is absolutely worth it to make sure he can attend Mass.


My parish does not have a vigil Mass for holy days, and we are a large parish. We have 4 masses on the holy day itself, the last being at 7pm.


I think the point was that if a parish offers a vigil Mass for holy days, they offer it for ALL holy days. They don’t say “oops, it’s Halloween” and cancel the vigil for All Saints.

In my area there are seven parishes close by. Three of them offer vigil Masses the evening before holy days. The others have Masses only on the day itself. It seems to work out.


Funny thing is that Halloween is a shortening of “All Hallows Evening” or the night before All Saints day. It’s only because of the corruption of the day before that people seem to disassociate where the name Halloween came from. :frowning:

That being said of the 5 parishes near us only 2 of the 5 have a vigil mass on Thursday night. The one closest to us is only adding an evening mass on the 1st despite the fact that they normally have a vigil mass on many other HDO.

Long and short, have him check parishes in his area. Maybe only one or two near him have a vigil Mass, but it is his duty to try to find one even if it means going somewhere a little further than normal. He doesn’t have to make a two hour drive, but if he can reasonably make mass somewhere other than his norm he needs to make the effort to do so.


Here in the Philippines All Saints Day is not a Holy Day of Obligation.


Here in England, it’s a Holy Day of Obligation, but the problem for me is that i’m going to be on holiday (but going back home on that day). There is a Catholic Church near where i’m staying. However, the Mass at the nearest parish is at 6pm and I wouldn’t want to miss Mass on that day but it’s situated in the middle of nowhere and there’s also no vigil masses (and it’s a 6 hour journey from there to home, and I will not be able to attend the Mass at that parish on that evening). Can anyone suggest me what I should do?


Yes, discuss it with your pastor and he can dispense you if necessary.


Our parish does…that’s our one and only mass (we are part of a cluster and the other parish in the cluster gets the 2 masses on the day of). It’s never very highly attended Halloween…I remember the year I had my kids go and they were the only kids there because of Trick or Treating (we live in a town 30 minutes from our church, and our town had Halloween festivities on a different day that year.)


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