Holy Days of Obligation


#1

Hi! I am trying to get a grasp on the holy days of obligation. I have some questions:

A holy day of obligation is a day that it is requires that a Catholic attend mass, correct? I know this would definitely be Sundays and that can be fulfilled by going to any mass on Sunday or the Saturday vigil mass.

On other days, such as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is coming up on August 15th, is the daily mass the one a person should attend? Or is there a “special” Mass that takes place on that day. I looked at the calendar for the church that I have started attending, and I saw that the only Mass listed is the 9 a.m. daily mass, but maybe the calendar hasn’t been updated to reflect any other times that mass might exist on that day.

I ask this because I am a teacher and the busiest day of the school year this year is August 15. We have district staff development and meet the teacher. I’ll basically be at work from 8 am until 8 pm. It’s also one of those days that a teacher can’t really miss. I’m not Catholic yet, so I guess technically I’m not obligated to do anything, but I know it’s the right thing to do. In the event that a person misses mass on these days, is it considered a sin?


#2

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
Hi! I am trying to get a grasp on the holy days of obligation. I have some questions:

A holy day of obligation is a day that it is requires that a Catholic attend mass, correct? I know this would definitely be Sundays and that can be fulfilled by going to any mass on Sunday or the Saturday vigil mass.

On other days, such as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is coming up on August 15th, is the daily mass the one a person should attend? Or is there a "special" Mass that takes place on that day. I looked at the calendar for the church that I have started attending, and I saw that the only Mass listed is the 9 a.m. daily mass, but maybe the calendar hasn't been updated to reflect any other times that mass might exist on that day.

I ask this because I am a teacher and the busiest day of the school year this year is August 15. We have district staff development and meet the teacher. I'll basically be at work from 8 am until 8 pm. It's also one of those days that a teacher can't really miss. I'm not Catholic yet, so I guess technically I'm not obligated to do anything, but I know it's the right thing to do. In the event that a person misses mass on these days, is it considered a sin?

[/quote]

Not every parish handles Holy Days of Obligation the same way. For some, the regularly-scheduled daily Mass remains the only Mass of the day, but it is still the Mass for the Holy Day. No parish would be celebrating a Mass on August 15 that was not for the Assumption.

As you have said, since you are not Catholic yet, you are not yet bound by the obligation. But even after you become Catholic, you cannot be obligated to do that which is impossible for you to do. If you work all day on the 15th, that might be a justifiable reason to miss.

Of course, I would encourage you to look around at other nearby parishes and see what they offer. Some parishes will offer a vigil Mass on the evening of the 14th (just as there are Saturday vigils every weekend). Try to find a Mass that will work for your schedule.

It might also be helpful to speak with your priest about it. He will better be able to guide you through what your obligations would be in light of your situation. Maybe you can talk him into offering an additional 7am Mass that morning. :)


#3

There is a huge difference in societies. Most of southern Europe comes to a complete standstill for the feast of the Assumption - it is as big a feast as say Christmas


#4

I suppose I'm lucky. I live on a college campus most of the year (being a current college student), so 10 PM Masses are fairly common.

Back on topic, in my experience, many parishes will add additional Masses to a day if it's a Holy Day of Obligation. So certainly, try looking again when it comes closer to time. But two things should prevail:
1) When in doubt, just ask a priest. A priest would be able to give better and more personalized advice than some guy on an internet forum
2) You aren't Catholic yet, so you really aren't bound to attend Mass that day. Don't stress about it if you don't have to


#5

My husband is a teacher and I can’t count the number of times that Back-to-School night falls on the Feast of the Assumption. Sometimes he has searched around for an early morning daily Mass, but often on major feast days parishes will eliminate on of their daily Masses, usually the early one. If he truly can’t make it, he asks the priest for a dispensation from the obligation, which has always been freely granted.


#6

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
Hi! I am trying to get a grasp on the holy days of obligation. I have some questions:

A holy day of obligation is a day that it is requires that a Catholic attend mass, correct? I know this would definitely be Sundays and that can be fulfilled by going to any mass on Sunday or the Saturday vigil mass.

On other days, such as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is coming up on August 15th, is the daily mass the one a person should attend? Or is there a "special" Mass that takes place on that day. I looked at the calendar for the church that I have started attending, and I saw that the only Mass listed is the 9 a.m. daily mass, but maybe the calendar hasn't been updated to reflect any other times that mass might exist on that day.

I ask this because I am a teacher and the busiest day of the school year this year is August 15. We have district staff development and meet the teacher. I'll basically be at work from 8 am until 8 pm. It's also one of those days that a teacher can't really miss. I'm not Catholic yet, so I guess technically I'm not obligated to do anything, but I know it's the right thing to do. In the event that a person misses mass on these days, is it considered a sin?

[/quote]

Attending Mass on the evening before a Holy Day of Obligation fulfills the obligation. That applies to all Holy Days of Obligation and not just Sundays. That means attending Mass on the evening of the 14th would fulfill the obligation.


#7

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
Hi! I am trying to get a grasp on the holy days of obligation. I have some questions:

A holy day of obligation is a day that it is requires that a Catholic attend mass, correct? I know this would definitely be Sundays and that can be fulfilled by going to any mass on Sunday or the Saturday vigil mass.

On other days, such as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is coming up on August 15th, is the daily mass the one a person should attend? Or is there a "special" Mass that takes place on that day. I looked at the calendar for the church that I have started attending, and I saw that the only Mass listed is the 9 a.m. daily mass, but maybe the calendar hasn't been updated to reflect any other times that mass might exist on that day.

I ask this because I am a teacher and the busiest day of the school year this year is August 15. We have district staff development and meet the teacher. I'll basically be at work from 8 am until 8 pm. It's also one of those days that a teacher can't really miss. I'm not Catholic yet, so I guess technically I'm not obligated to do anything, but I know it's the right thing to do. In the event that a person misses mass on these days, is it considered a sin?

[/quote]

leamar,

You are required to attend Mass on holy days of obligation. Per canon law, this requirement can be satisfied by attending any Mass on the day of the obligation or the day prior after 4:00 PM.

"Any Mass" is important. It does not have to be a Mass celebrated for the occasion of the obligation itself. For instance, going to a wedding with a Catholic Mass on a Saturday evening will satisfy your Sunday obligation.


#8

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
On other days, such as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is coming up on August 15th, is the daily mass the one a person should attend?

[/quote]

Yes. The readings and prayers for the Assumption will be given at Daily Mass.

I ask this because I am a teacher and the busiest day of the school year this year is August 15. We have district staff development and meet the teacher. I'll basically be at work from 8 am until 8 pm. It's also one of those days that a teacher can't really miss. I'm not Catholic yet, so I guess technically I'm not obligated to do anything, but I know it's the right thing to do. In the event that a person misses mass on these days, is it considered a sin?

Is it a Catholic school? If so, they will probably know where there is a Mass taking place close to the school, and they will most likely encourage the teachers to go.

If not, see if you can find a parish that has Mass over the lunch hour that day, and time your break to attend that.

If it is physically impossible to get to Mass on that day, it is not required. After you become Catholic, you can discuss these things with your parish priest and he can give you a dispensation if necessary.


#9

[quote="jmcrae, post:8, topic:333088"]
Yes. The readings and prayers for the Assumption will be given at Daily Mass.

Is it a Catholic school? If so, they will probably know where there is a Mass taking place close to the school, and they will most likely encourage the teachers to go.

If not, see if you can find a parish that has Mass over the lunch hour that day, and time your break to attend that.

If it is physically impossible to get to Mass on that day, it is not required. After you become Catholic, you can discuss these things with your parish priest and he can give you a dispensation if necessary.

[/quote]

I work at a public school in the DEEP South. Unfortunately, the fact that deer season also starts on August 15th is more important to people around here than the fact that it is a Holy Day. Trust me when I say, people would take a day off work to hunt before they would take a day off work to go to church. It's very sad. :tsktsk:

With that being said, I'm not too terribly far from a major city in the area and perhaps there will be a Mass offered the evening before that I could attend. I've had to do a little bit of research on what it means to receive a dispensation. Am I correct in saying that basically the priest "excuses" a person from attending the required Mass? Not that I would seek a dispensation unless I exhausted all other options, I'm just curious if that's what that means.


#10

That sounds good! :slight_smile:

I’ve had to do a little bit of research on what it means to receive a dispensation. Am I correct in saying that basically the priest “excuses” a person from attending the required Mass? Not that I would seek a dispensation unless I exhausted all other options, I’m just curious if that’s what that means.

Yes, exactly. :thumbsup:


#11

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
Hi! I am trying to get a grasp on the holy days of obligation. I have some questions:

A holy day of obligation is a day that it is requires that a Catholic attend mass, correct?

[/quote]

Yes!

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
I know this would definitely be Sundays and that can be fulfilled by going to any mass on Sunday or the Saturday vigil mass.

On other days, such as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is coming up on August 15th, is the daily mass the one a person should attend?

[/quote]

Any Mass on the day fulfils the obligation.

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
Or is there a "special" Mass that takes place on that day.

[/quote]

The Assumption does, of course, have its own propers. But, the obligation is canonical not liturgical. So any Mass celebrated that day fulfils the obligation.

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
I looked at the calendar for the church that I have started attending, and I saw that the only Mass listed is the 9 a.m. daily mass, but maybe the calendar hasn't been updated to reflect any other times that mass might exist on that day.

I ask this because I am a teacher and the busiest day of the school year this year is August 15. We have district staff development and meet the teacher. I'll basically be at work from 8 am until 8 pm. It's also one of those days that a teacher can't really miss. I'm not Catholic yet, so I guess technically I'm not obligated to do anything, but I know it's the right thing to do.

[/quote]

You can fulfil the obligation in any Catholic church so you need not go to the one you mention. As with Sundays you can fulfil the obligation on the previous evening. May be your church or another one has an evening Mass on 14th August.

[quote="leamar3, post:1, topic:333088"]
In the event that a person misses mass on these days, is it considered a sin?

[/quote]

Yes, it is.


#12

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