Holy Days of Obligation (Spain)

Am on holiday in Spain. Yesterday at Mass, the priest mentioned something about today (Monday) being the feast of St Peter and Paul, but my Spanish isn´t good enough to work out what else he said. There doesn´t seem to be a Mass in the parish church, or anywhere in the town on Sunday. I could travel to the city (about 30min by bus) where there is a Mass at 7pm in the Cathedral (looked it up online).

Am I obligated to attend Mass:
a) On holy days of obligation in a country I´m only visiting
b) When there isn´t a Mass in town.

I´m confused. The websites I´ve looked at say that Sts Peter & Paul is a holy day of obligation in Spain, yet there doesn´t seem to be a Mass laid on for it in the parish. Maybe there´s a Mass in the neighbouring parish but I didn´t hear the announcement. Certainly yesterday´s readings (there was a translation) were for Ordinary Time, not for the solemnity.

I haven´t missed a Holy Day of Obligation since my confirmation, and I don´t want to start now.

Please help. I´m going to log back on at about 6pm (about 5hrs from now).


I live here in Spain, so I’ll tackle this one :slight_smile:

First off, as FrDavid96 indicated in another post on the same question:

All Catholics are bound by universal law (canon law, and other universal laws), regardless of where they are at the moment.

When a traveller goes to another place, and that place has a local law (particular law) that requires something, the traveller is not bound to observe it. At the same time, dispensations from the law which are granted in that territory apply to the traveller as well.

The Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is not a holy day of obligation in Spain. Now, in addition to the eight national holy days of obligation, there are local ones in the various autonomous communities, and local ones in different cities and dioceses too (in honor of a city or a diocese’s patron saint, for example).

I can’t tell you whether the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is one where you are unless you’d like to indicate in which city or autonomous community you are currently staying.

But again, since you are only visiting, the question is moot for you. Go to Mass if you wish, but don’t fret about it.

FYI, the holy days of obligation in Spain are as follows:

01/01/2009 Santa María, Madre de Dios (Mary, Mother of God)
06/01/2009 Epifanía del Señor (The Epiphany of the Lord or “Three Kings’ Day”)
19/03/2009 San José, Esposo de la Virgen María (St. Joseph)
25/07/2009 Santiago Apóstol, Patrono de España (St. James the Greater, Patron of Spain)
15/08/2009 La Asunción de la Virgen María (The Assumption of The Virgin Mary)
01/11/2009 Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day)
08/12/2009 La Inmaculada Concepción de la Virgen María (The Immaculate Conception)
25/12/2009 La Natividad del Señor (Christmas Day)

Hope that helps!

Thanks for that. I gather from the absence of a Mass at the Cathedral (I went, had a look around, made an act of spiritual communion, also saw a piece of the pillar at which our Lord was scourged, which was a really powerful moment that helped me understand a difficult mystery) that it is not a holy day of obligation here in Mallorca.

Thanks again for your help.

My children are going on holiday today to Mallorca in Spain with their father.
My children live in England where tomorrow it is a day of obligation (Assumption of our Lady). The Assumption is also a holy day of obligation in Spain.
Do they need to attend Mass? My eldest takes communion and my youngest will from next year. They are both practising Catholics. None of my children is aware that it is a holy day of obligation in England and in Spain.
If I was taking them on holiday I’d take them to Mass with me; however, since our annulment any suggestion from me to their father to get him to do anything with the children is highly likely to generate more conflict between the two of us. Besides, he’s already skipped Sunday Mass when on holiday with the children in the past.
So my questions are are my children obliged to go to Mass is Spain tomorrow? Shall I jeorpadise the already very difficult relationship with their father by asking him to take them to Mass tomorrow? Or is this his responsibility and I’d better not mention anything?
Thanks in advance

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