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Holy Days

What Are the Holy Days of Obligation?

The Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church says that there are nine holy days of obligation other than Sundays, but it also says that the local conference of bishops may suppress some of them or transfer them to a Sunday.

Bishops in the United States have suppressed the feast of Saint Joseph and the feast of Saints Peter and Paul as holy days of obligation. In addition, the feast of Epiphany is always celebrated on a Sunday in the U.S. In 2021, the Feast of the Assumption falls on a Sunday, August 15. Since all Sundays are obligatory, it’s not included in the list this year.

Throughout much of 2020 and continuing into 2021 for the foreseeable future, bishops have lifted the obligation to attend Mass in person due to the Coronavirus pandemic and have instead encouraged virtual Mass celebrations. 

US CATHOLIC HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION FOR 2021

This leaves us with five holy days of obligation outside of Sundays. The following are holy days of obligation in the U.S. for 2021:

  • Solemnity of Mary, January 1
  • Ascension of Jesus, May 13 — Celebrated on the sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday*
  • Solemnity of All Saints, November 1*
  • Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8
  • Christmas, December 25

*An individual bishop may transfer a holy day to a Sunday. This is the case in most US dioceses with the Ascension of Jesus, which is transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Since the Solemnity of All Saints falls on a Monday this year, it may also be transferred to the previous Sunday. Check with your local diocese.

 

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