Holy Day of Obligation question

Is the Ascension a Holy Day of Obligation in the US (Diocese of Joliet in Illinois)? And it’s on May 5th this year, right? My parish’s online calendar doesn’t mention Holy Day Masses this Thursday at all, and other nearby parishes don’t either. Am I missing something?

No, it’s been transferred to next Sunday, which is, of course, itself a Holy Day of Obligation.


According to this website: dioceseofjoliet.org/odw/content1.php?secid=27, the Ascension is transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 8th, in your diocese.

Only the ecclesiastical provinces (archdioceses) of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Omaha celebrate Ascension on Thursday.

Oh, ok.,thanks
So much I still don’t know about being Catholic… :blush:
Looks like I don’t have to worry about Mother Mary’s Assumption either since it falls on a Monday this year.

I’m still learning! I have known the Ascension to be celebrated only on Thursday, so I know how you feel.

In the EF, it is celebrated on Thursday. It is celebrated in the OF on Sunday, if the Ascension Thursday Solemnity is not considered as an obligation (people find it hard to go to mass on a Thu. in an area)

Ecclesiastical Province doesn’t mean Archdiocese. The Ecclesiastical Provinces are named after the Archdiocese. They are made up of the Archdiocese and its suffrien dioceses.

To clarify the above, this means that the Assension is a Holy Day of Obligation for everyone living in the following states:

Ecclesiastical Province of Boston: all dioceses in Maine, New Hamsphire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

Ecclesiastical Province of Hartford: all dioceses in Connecticut and Rhode Island

Ecclesiastical Province of New York: all dioceses in New York State

Ecclesiastical Province of Newark: all dioceses in the state of New Jersey

Ecclesiastical Province of Philadelphia: all dioceses in the state of Pennsylvania

Ecclesiastical Province of Omaha: all dioceses in the state of Nebraska


I live in PA, though not in Philly, and Ascension is celebrated on Thursday. :slight_smile:

This coming Thursday, May 5, 2016, is a holy day of obligation for my parish.

You’ve already received the answer, but just to be thorough, the Solemnity of the Ascension is still a Holy Day of Obligation everywhere in the US. It simply has been transferred to the following Sunday for most (but not all) of the dioceses here. In those dioceses where it has been transferred, if you go to Mass on “Ascension Thursday”, you hear readings for Thursday of the 6th Week of Ordinary Time. And when you go on the following Sunday, you hear the readings for the Ascension. In dioceses where it has not been transferred, you get the Ascension liturgy on the traditional Thursday and the readings for the 7th Sunday of Easter the following Sunday.

In other words, the obligation hasn’t been changed, just the date on which it is celebrated (for some).

This is similar to what happened with Epiphany. It is still a Holy Day of Obligation even though (in the US) it is celebrated on the Sunday after New Year’s Day rather than the traditional January 6. The difference is that the Epiphany’s transference applies to all dioceses in the US whereas with the Ascension each ecclesiastical province determined what would apply for them.

It can get confusing. :stuck_out_tongue:

Basically, the Northeast and Nebraska. :slight_smile:

Yes, except the Provences of Baltimore and Washington.

The Province of Baltimore consists of most of Maryland, all of Delaware, all of Virginia, and all of West Virginia.

The Province of Washington consists of some of Maryland (around DC), DC, and the US Virgin Islands.

I do understand this and I compliment you for the comprehensive yet succinct list.

Here I’m confused and asking for some clarification, not argument. I note that this poster is in the Phillipines but that is not my issue. My questions is, in the US for that matter does the EF or OF come into play when determining when an individuation is obligated to attend Mass when holydays are tranferred.

And for simplicity’s sake, let’s leave aside discussions about travelers, domiciles, anticipatory Masses, Mass readings, etc. for the time being.


No matter which liturgy – Which maintain different calendars – One typically attends, the current (1983) Code of Canon Law determines what days one is obligated to assist at Mass.

If you live in an area where the solemnity is translated to Sunday and attend a Mass according to the Missal of John XXIII on Thursday, you will hear the Mass for Ascension even though there is no obligation to satisfy on that day. (And you are still, naturally, obligated on the following Sunday, even though on that day you will not hear the Mass of the Ascension)

Armchair Liturgical Calendar Nerd :nerd:

Thank you. I thought that was the case but wasn’t 100% sure. I gather friom your second paragraph then another way of putting it would be that the EF or OF determines the calendar but not the obligation.

Yes, that sounds correct.

Also, a clarification of my previous:

I was writing only of Latin Rite Catholics. Eastern Churches naturally maintain their own calendars and the faithful may bear differing obligations. Or, they may be obligated on the same feast, but which may be celebrated on a different calendar date. (I believe, for instance, that Epiphany is not typically translated by the Eastern rites, and I am *pretty *sure the same holds true for Ascension)

Still Nerdy :nerd:

Maryland, Delaware, DC are not Northeastern states. South of the Mason-Dixon line.

As someone who grew up in Delaware, we 100% consider ourselves a Northeastern State because Delaware never left the Union.

Plus, while Maryland is south of the mason-dixon line, Delaware is not. The Mason Dixon line is the Maryland state border with BOTH Pennsylvania & Delaware. Delaware is actually BOTH east & north of the Mason-Dixon line.

I usually see Delaware (along with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and several of our south-of-the-M-D-line neighbors) designated “Mid-Atlantic”. I usually think of the “Northeast” as being New York and above (which really means New York plus New England).
(I used to think New York was part of New England, until my bride disabused me of that notion)


When I was in school, they used to teach that the Northeast was made up of the Mid-Atlantic and New England states.

We learned in school (granted this was the early 1990s) that the Mid-Atlantic consisted of: New York, New Jersey, PA, Delaware, Maryland, DC & West Virginia. That’s how our high school geography textbooks defined the Mid-Atlantic.

Basically it was all original 13 states (WV being the part of VA that didn’t leave the Union) that did not leave the union during the Civil War (which are not New England). Our textbooks grouped the former Confederate States together as the “Southern States.” So Virginia was considered a Southern State while West Virginia was considered a Mid-Atlantic State.

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