Query Regarding Holy Days of Obligation


Here is a query, This post: is it true? Is today a Holy Day of Obligation or not?


The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has decreed that the Holy Days of obligation to be observed in Canada are: all Sundays of the year, Christmas Day and the Feast of Mary, Mother of God.

The feasts of the Epiphany, the Ascension, the Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) are transferred to the following Sunday


In Canada, it is (unfortunately) not a Holy Day of obligation.


Holy days depend on your country. In the US today is a holy day of obligation. It sounds like it’s not an obligatory observance in Canada.


It is not a Holy Day of Obligation in Canada. You can go anyway, of course. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is still being celebrated and it is a beautiful Feast to celebrate.


You are wrong here, it is still a holy day in Canada, there is just no obligation attached to it.


Yes, that is what I mean


For the Latin church in Canada: Christmas Day and the Feast of Mary, Mother of God.
Also the only two obligatory in the Latin church, besides Sundays, in Hawaii and islands in Episcopal Conference of the Pacific: Christmas and the Immaculate Conception.
And in Australia and New Zealand: Christmas and the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary.


Why do you think its unfortunate that Catholics north of the 49th parallel don’t have an obligation in this regards?


Alaska is north of the 49th parallel. They are part of the US, and therefore, today is a holy day of obligation for them. Just saying. :smile:


The holy days of obligation vary from country to country. The Church prescribes that all Sundays plus 10 solemnities are holy days of obligation. The solemnities in question are the Lord’s Nativity, Epiphany and Ascension plus Corpus Christi; of Our Lady: Mary, Mother of God, Assumption, and Immaculate Conception; of the saints: St Joseph, Ss Peter & Paul, and All Saints.

The bishops of each country can choose to remove the obligation from any of these. The Holy See asks that all countries keep the Lord’s Nativity and one of the solemnities of Our Lady as holy days of obligation. Each country’s decision has to be confirmed by the Holy See. I understand that if the Epiphany, Ascension or Corpus Christi are not kept as holy days of obligation they must be transferred to a Sunday.

I live in England and our bishops have decided that holy days of obligation in England are the four of Our Lord and kept on their proper days, the Assumption of Our Lady, and Ss Peter & Paul and All Saints. Here, Mary Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph are not holy days of obligation.

I do wish the Immaculate Conception was a holy day of obligation here. That was the dedication of my childhood parish and primary school. I think our neighbours in Scotland keep it as a holy day of obligation.


Personally, I think it’s unfortunate that the obligation of holy day is depensed of or transfered to Sunday. I think it’s a shame that we don’t all recoginize all holy days of obligation, plus national or regional holy days too.


When Catholic politicians and industrialists close their businesses and agencies on Holy Days, you’ll probably get more compliance from ordinary Catholics.

Many Jewish businesses close their doors on their high holy days, kids get off of school, etc.


There was a time that I would have agreed with you, but I no longer feel that way.

Obligating people to go to Mass when the secular world is not set up for it puts a burden on people. They still have to go to work and school. They still have other commitments with family and home. At best, it seems that parishes offer one extra Mass on holy days so there’s certainly not any sense that the clergy burden themselves in order to ease the burden on parishioners.

It would be different if you were in a country that has a secular holiday at the same time as the holy day. But that’s not the world we live in and placing an obligation on people just makes it more likely they will commit a sin in missing Mass.


Or even the Church organizations. Parish and diocesean offices sometimes remain open. Catholic school children go to school. They (and their teachers) often go to Mass, which is good, but otherwise it is business as usual. The teachers still give homework. The kids’ parents still have to get to Mass. The teachers and other staff still have to work all day and figure out how to get their own families to Mass. It reduces the celebration of a Holy Day to “get to Mass”.


Good point. This Saturday, St. Joseph’s Prep played for a state football title. I can’t imagine if a Jewish school made the game and it was scheduled for Yom Kippur, they wouldn’t insist that the league change the date.


I love Holy Days, and the fact that the Catholic Church (and other ancient churches) celebrate special days in the life of Christ, Mary, and the Saints.

But I do not understand attaching obligation to any of the Holy Days. Because, after all, this is just ecclesiastical law, and not inherent to the day itself.

But attaching “obligation” under pain of mortal sin seems to be what Christ chastises the leaders of his day against: creating heavy burdens for the common people.

Of course, Holy Days of Obligation aren’t heavy burdens, since there’s just a few.

But I don’t understand the point of adding mortal sin into the equation. Why would you want the faithful to chance risking mortal sin? Just get rid of the “obligation.”


Let’s get rid of obligation for Sunday too!


I think that’s different.

Sunday worship is not so much ecclesiastic law.


I would disagree. True, there’s a precedent set by the Apostles, but aside from that, Sunday worship is ecclesiastic law.


There’s a fundamental difference. The Church is never going to change its weekly meeting from Sunday to another day. This was written in to the very beginning of Christianity, when the disciples met together on Sunday because of the Resurrection.

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