Holy Days of Obligation

Should I go to class on Holy Days of Obligation?

I will be in college this upcoming year, so I would only be in class a couple hours of the day anyway. My elementary school and high school (both were Catholic schools) always had school on holy days; we just went to Mass during the day. I recently found out that my high school had decided to have school because they felt not everyone would attend Mass if we didn’t have it during the school day.

Either way, I would still go to church, and I would still find time to give to God on holy days, but should I take off from class too? To be clear, I am not suggesting that I “skip” class. I read on my school’s website that I can miss class for religious holidays if I notify my professors beforehand.

If you can go to class and also attend Mass, why would you not do both?

I am not sure but I think PeteZaHut may be thinking of this like one would think of working. Again, I am not sure but I think that he may be comparing working with classes. We are not supposed to work on Sunday which is a holy day of obligation. I am not sure if we are allowed to work on other holy days of obligation or not.

I hope you’re not setting up a “straw man” to justify cutting class :hmmm:

This is just to reinforce your statement that you would go anyway … Make a committment to attend Mass at the very least when you are obligated to. Then stick to it. Give it the highest priority. Make it a committment for life and don’t soften it. You will never be sorry.

Good times will come, and you will not feel the need to go to Mass. Bad times will come and you will feel too oppressed to go to Mass. You will be too busy, or you will feel you are getting nothing out of it. But stick to your committment.

It is your armor in life’s battles.

Indeed. :slight_smile: The Eucharist is a very strong weapon to help us fight against the temptations and evils that each day brings us. :thumbsup: Not to mention the fact that the prayer of Mass is also very powerful and helpful for us. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be necessary for us to attend. :wink:

But is class work on a holy day that I should abstain from?

On Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation the rule is to refrain from unnecessary servile labor. Servile means no physical labor. Studying, thinking, learning, doing math problems, cooking dinner, etc., etc. are all OK.

This is true for Sundays, but not all Holy Days of Obligation are days of rest.


why would you skip class esp if there is a Mass time before or after class, or evening the evening before, which fulfils your obligation?

Can. 1246 §1. Sunday, on which by apostolic tradition the paschal mystery is celebrated, must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation. The following days must also be observed: the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension, the Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles, and All Saints.
§2. With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.
Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.
Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and aVairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

This was probably written back in the days that Europe was still mostly Catholic, and Holy Days were recognized by the state, as holidays.

However, here in the US, we have to go to work and school on Holy Days, and hence, are not obligated to abstain from work or school.


The code of canon law is from 1983 - hardly the dark ages. :confused:

I’ve never heard of study being classed among the types of labour to be avoided on Sundays and holy days.

Remember not all types of labour are prohibited, just servile or paid work, study counts as neither. Remember too that even that rule is relaxed where such labour is necessary (eg if the only job you can get to support yourself is on weekends, then you can work all day Sunday even if you get paid for it, even if it is servile labour to boot).

Short answer - GO TO SCHOOL!!!

Fine, I’ll show it to my boss and tell him I have to take those Holy Days off. :smiley:


Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and aVairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

That is the phrase that caught me in the catechism. I don’t remember seeing anything about servile labor or paid work.

Regardless, if it is necessary for us to work, we must work, even if it is on a Sunday, much less any other day of the week.

I’m sure Our Lady washed many a diaper on the Sabbath, and Joseph fixed many a broken chair or table, because these things were necessary. School classes are also necessary work. Remember, those who have a paid job aren’t, unless their boss permits, to refrain from their work obligations on a HDO. Your study is a similarly serious obligation, and you shouldn’t unnecessarily skip classes.

If your company has religious observances as part of its list of reasons for excused absences, this would work. I used to write employee manuals. :wink: I have taken my kids out of public school for Holy Days of Obligation and no one blinked an eye.

I have mixed feelings about this one. I don’t think that going to class violates the restiction on work for HDO. On the other hand, if you want to set this day aside as a special day, and can reasonably do so, it is admirable and a nice witness. People of other faiths often take their holy days off. Why shouldn’t Catholics?

But is class work on a holy day that I should abstain from?

No. Consider it your job.

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