When are the Holy Days of Obligation?
Many people have inquired about the obligation to participate at Mass waived on certain holy days. Trying to determine which holy days are bound by which rules, can be confusing. In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as most dioceses in the United States, there are normally five solemnities designated as holy days of obligation: Christmas (December 25), Mary Mother of God (January 1), Assumption (August 15), All Saints (November 1) and Immaculate Conception (December 8). Latin-rite Catholics in the United States are normally obligated to participate at Mass on these days. (The solemnity of the Ascension of The Lord is celebrated on the Seventh Sunday of Easter).
However, there are exceptions to the rules. The Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy has determined that when August 15 or November 1 fall on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to attend Mass is no longer in force. In addition as of January 1, 2002, January 1 (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) will not be a Holy Day of Obligation in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The feast remains a significant day in the life of the church, but the obligation to participate at Mass is gone.
Solemnities and Days of Obligation 2002:
Solemnities and Days that Are Not Holy Days of Obligation in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (2002):
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Visit our page on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
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