Holy Days of Obligation
A Holy Day of Obligation is a principal feast day that, in addition to Sundays, Catholics are obliged by church law to participate in the Mass. The catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The Sunday [and Holy Day of Obligation] Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice.For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason [for example, illness or the care of infants or the elderly]…Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.” (CCC #2181)
From the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of America:
In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:
- January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God;
- Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter [may be transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter], the solemnity of the Ascension;
- August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
- November 1, the solemnity of All Saints;
- December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception;
- December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.